Montgomery County Pols: Not Satisfied With the Biggest Slice of Education Pie

Posted on April 25, 2008

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Some high-profile political leaders in Montgomery County are not satisfied with the largest slice of the pie.

Montgomery is set to get $46.3 million for school construction, the most generous slice of school funding in Maryland. Montgomery is the largest and wealthiest of the four large jurisdictions that dominate Maryland politics. The other three, Prince Georges County, Baltimore City, and Baltimore County, each would get $41 million, $5 million less than Montgomery, The Washington Post reported this week.

Leading the chorus of whiners in Montgomery County: Sen. Rona Kramer and Sen. Richard Madaleno.

Yes, Montgomery County needs money for school construction. So do many other Maryland counties. Montgomery already has the best and newest school buildings in Maryland, matched possibly by Howard County. Perhaps Sen. Kramer and Sen. Madaleno are not aware of conditions in Baltimore City schools, or of the fact that The City and the inner suburbs of Baltimore County have the oldest stock of school buildings in Maryland.

A social justice question: Is the life of a child in Montgomery County more important than the life of a child in Baltimore City or Prince Georges County? Does a child who lives in Montgomery County deserve a better education than a child in Baltimore or Prince Georges?

Montgomery has the largest population of any jurisdiction in Maryland, and it is appropriate that Montgomery get the largest slice of the coveted school construction pie. But it is either greedy or uncaring for Montgomery to ask for even more when other counties have equal or greater needs. Schoolchildren in other parts of Maryland have an equal right to a good public education. Or maybe that’s just my opinion.

Sen. Kramer and Sen. Madaleno are giving parochialism a bad name. — Bernie Hayden

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