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Letters to the Editor 2/1

January 31, 2001

Letters to the Editor 2/1



Home-schoolers, ignore this form



To the editor:

It has come to my attention the Washington County public schools would like all home-schoolers to fill out a home-school profile to be returned at the time of review. This exceeds the requirements of the law and does not need to be filled out.

I recommend home-schoolers not comply with this request. If you feel you must return the form please return it blank, as it is not required by the law. In addition, the portfolio requirements listed in the packet exceed the requirements of the law (COMAR).

Please familiarize yourself with COMAR and only comply with the requirements of the code. If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Martin at 301-739-6502, Sandi Roberts at 301-834-7420 or a Sonlight contact, Lisa Heller at 301-432-6030.

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Barbara Martin

Sandi Roberts

Hagerstown




Consolidation: What's the point?



To the editor:

After reading the recent article about the consolidation of our elementary schools, I am puzzled as to why we are doing it. We are told that the county would "save $1.6 million a year."

This seems to be a good thing. However, we are also told that the cost of all this consolidation will be "about $24.2 million, with $12.8 million coming from local funds." Once the consolidation is accomplished, we are told that "quality of education would not be harmed as long as enrollments at the consolidated schools are kept at about 500 students each."

First of all, why on earth would anyone spend $24 million to save only $1.6? By my old-fashioned math that means it will take over 20 years to pay for itself. Secondly, do they really expect student population to remain under 500 for the next 20 years? Unless they see zero-population growth for Washington County, this just isn't a good way of doing things.

If they are determined to spend $24 million they don't really have, they could spend it renovating and expanding the existing facilities which are conveniently closer to the children's homes.

Clark Watson

Hagerstown




Mooney only out for himself



To the editor:

I'm not surprised to find myself disagreeing with Sen. Alex Mooney again.

I think he is bad for Washington county. He is trying to make his political career by staking out the most extreme edge of the Republican party. He puts his "political purity" ahead of the needs of Washington County.

Now, in his latest attempt at pointless political grandstanding he has decided to attack the prevailing wage law. His position is supported by wealthy contractors (Mooney's main supporters) because they just hate to divert "their" profits into a worker's paycheck.

The business lobby would have us believe that increased wages drive up building costs. Even if we assume this is true (I submit that it is excessive profiteering from contractors that drives costs up), these wages would be taxed and thus increase the amount of money available for schools. Furthermore, the remaining increase in wages would be spent in our community. This will benefit all the businesses in our community. In contrast, the profits that a wealthy contractor makes will be sheltered from taxes (by his skilled accountant) and very few people will benefit.

I consider many of Mooney's views to be off-base. His politics are self-serving and opportunistic. Either of these reasons would lead me to conclude that he is bad for Washington County.

Joe Lane

Smithsburg

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