Thursday, March 23, 2006

Senators Whining About Education Equality

The Baltimore Sun reports today that a number of state lawmakers from rural and wealthy suburban areas are complaining about "a state program that would funnel state aid to needier schools." The program, called the Georgraphic Cost of Education Index, would distribute funds for education on a county-by-county basis, giving more money to places in greater need.

To some, this reeks of a double standard. Quoted are legislators like Baltimore County's Sen. James Brochin, who said "It just doesn't seem fair to me." Oh really, Sen. Brochin? Because what doesn't seem fair to The League is that while schools in your jurisdiction manage to graduate over 86 percent of students, only 54.3 percent of Baltimore City students finish high school.

Another short-sighted and insensitive comment came from Howard County Republican Sen. Allan Kittleman, who expressed concern "about not treating everyone the same in Maryland." If that's true, Senator, then you should whole-heartedly support the Index. If the costs of education are being met in one area but not another, simply because the later demands more real dollars to get the job done, then we are most certainly treating Marylanders unequally.

Legislators should stand up for what's best for their district, but arguing against money for failing schools is just plain cold-hearted. Due to high rates of poverty and crime in Baltimore City, it just costs more to get kids the same kind of education available to those living in Anne Arundel, Howard and other suburban counties. As soon as lawmakers get that through their heads and stop whining about how unfair it is to give urban kids quality educations, everyone will be better off.

from The League: Reassembled


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