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Education and the Budget

schoolEveryone agrees something has to be done about deficit spending. The question is what taxes (if any) should be increased and what budget items do we have to cut back if we conclude that taxes are not the only answer.

Lansdowne High School has an opinion. Landsdowne has survived and thrived in recent years in spite of economic challenges the community faced long before the recent economic downturn: half of the children qualify for free or reduced lunch. Landsdowne has shrugged off these challenges, achieving an 84% graduation rate (something you would never expect in South Baltimore after watching just one Wire episode).

But while Lansdowne may have a city feel to it, it is in Baltimore County. Like most municipalities in Maryland and around the country, Baltimore County is struggling. One potential victim: reducing the budget for teaching positions which means Landsdowne is going to have larger class sizes and cancellation of subjects.

Is this necessarily fatal to the progress Lansdowne has made? Of course not. But it does raise the difficulty level.

Ultimately, reducing the deficit is an issue for adults in the room. It is forward thinking, worrying about the problems of tomorrow as opposed to continuing to hand over the American Express card. But we need to be careful not to exchange one problem that suffers from amyopic lens for another.