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Posted at 4:33 PM ET, 12/17/2010

O'Malley budget secretary bristles at Prince George's education aid request

By John Wagner


A request from Prince George's County's for $139 million more in state education aid than was budgeted this year brought a sharp rebuke Friday from the administration of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

"Your proposal ... suggests that you believe that the governor's winning reelection is the
equivalent to winning the lottery," T. Eloise Foster, O'Malley's budget secretary, wrote in a letter to Prince George's Schools Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. "Like the moms and dads who live in Maryland, government must learn to live within constrained budgets. I would suggest that you look to streamline administrative and non-classroom functions."

Foster's letter comes as O'Malley is preparing a fiscal year 2012 budget proposal that seeks to close a shortfall of more than $1.2 billion. Aides have suggested that no programs are likely to be exempt from budget cuts, including education.

Under Hite's budget proposal, which was released Thursday, Prince George's school employees' pay would be frozen and middle school sports would be eliminated, among other cost-saving measures.

The request for additional state aid is intended largely to offset the disappearance of federal stimulus money, which has served to prop up state and local spending on education and other programs for the past two years.

"We definitely understand the state's fiscal challenges, but we want to ask for what we need to operate the district," Matthew E. Stanski, the Prince George's school system's chief financial officer, told The Post Thursday.

Foster's letter says she was disappointed to read about the school system's proposal in The Post and recounts the record amounts of state aid that the system has received in recent years.

"Together, I am certain that we will be able to make the tough, but prudent decisions necessary to put children first while living within the fiscal reality of our times," Foster wrote.

By John Wagner  | December 17, 2010; 4:33 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner, Maryland State Budget  
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Comments

wow! I love the tough approach towards a corrupt adminstration of Dr. William Hites Jr. Prince george's county public school system deserves nothing from the state of Maryland. It's corrupt,evil and barbaric. Give them tough love... it's an extension of Jack Johnson the former corrupt county executive.

Posted by: childrenalways1st | December 17, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Dr. William Hites Jr deserves nothing from the state of Maryland in terms of more money or AID. I agree with T. Eloise Foster. Everyone must be held accountable in whatever they do. There are so many adminstrators sitting around drinking coffee all day with nothing else to do. Let them find another job elsewhere!

Posted by: freegastanker | December 17, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

The state should not be funding local education - AT ALL. PG should raise their own citizen's local property and sales taxes to pay for their schools. That way the locals have an INCENTIVE to control spending and oversee their school administration officials. The current system just passes the buck.

Posted by: b1978367 | December 18, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who calls the administration of Hites corrupt, doesn't know from whence he or she speaks. He had absolutely no part in the "book scandal." As to the new county executive, he's like a breath of fresh air.

Posted by: lilpixiefig@aol.com | December 18, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Do you live in this world? unless you are benefitting from Hites corruption activities. Dr. William Hite Jr is corrupt and he deserves nothing from the state of Maryland leave alone the federal government. He should be held accountable. Let him slash the adminstrative and non teaching positions first.
*****************************************
Posted by: lilpixiefig@aol.com Anyone who calls the administration of Hites corrupt, doesn't know from whence he or she speaks. He had absolutely no part in the "book scandal." As to the new county executive, he's like a breath of fresh air.

Posted by: freegastanker | December 18, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

23 counties in Maryland, PG rates dead last in academic achievement, why is that?

Posted by: sr22330845 | December 18, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh to live in P.G. Co.! Problem is, many of the county employees are always looking to make something on the side (just look at the police), and that occurs even at the highest compensated levels of county employment. It is a culture we inherited from Mayor Barry and S.E. Washington. So why not ask the state for a handout? Handouts are business as usual in "pay-to-play" P.G. Co., everyone is doing it. So instead of the education administrators just simply doing their job, they have bought into the deviant local culture of everyone trying to get rich quick and buy a jaguar, and generally just taking it easy. Educating our youth is not easy, but it can be done effecting if you keep it simple (as we used to do it) -- maintain discipline in the classroom, expel the good-for-nothing punk offspring who are disruptive (and that goes for the uninspired sub par faculty), and teach! And if the teaching unions don't like it, see and keep them in court until the teacher's union is broke!

Posted by: wilpajones | December 18, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

It is already abundantly clear that some of the commentators above are not "educated" in the facts, the related laws or budget processes and/or have other agendas that will do nothing to produce positive, productive discussion of the real issues that have been proven to benefit Prince George's Public School Children. They would know that by law, Maryland School systems have not authority to generate their own revenue; that by law, the state is responsible to adequately & equitably fund all public school systems (students) and use an accoutability system to monitor the use of such funds; that the state is holding 80% of the EduJobs money allocated by the federal government for this year (FY11), not FY12 budget; that the state has never fully funded Prince George's Schools based on the letter and intent of state laws and have used technical adjustments to do so; that the county also failed to fully fund millions of their share of the maintenance of effort for FY11.
These are only a small sample of the facts.
Some folks also would like to know where is the similar uproar about Montgomery County Schools "proposed" budget (with salary increases) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/15/AR2010121502798.html ; where are these folks at PTA, school board, county/state government meetings/hearings, etc.? Are you asking the same questions or is Prince George's just easier for you to comment on.
Lastly, if you have evidence of corruption in the school system (or elsewhere), do not imply it with possibly assumptions without backing it up with facts.
A wiseman once said, "It is better to understand than to be understood" and another said, "A child only knows that they have experience". If they are your children, do you really want them to read some of these comments or do you want them to understand the facts that will allow them to be part of the solution? If so, I challenge you to join them.

Posted by: arteerick | December 18, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

You can't compare Prince George's county public schools with Montgomery County Schools. There is accountability and transparence in Montgomery County Schools unless PGCPS. Dr. Hite is a master of deception and there is corruption in EVERY LEVEL in prince george's county public schools. How can you compare a prince george's county public school system which is last in perfomance to montgomery county which is among top 10? Dr. William Hites Jr should be fired.

Posted by: pierredickson | December 18, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Some suggestions to contribute to balancing the budget as contributed by Savvy_one in the earlier article:
*cut top administrative positions salaries and get rid of the extra positions. There only needs to be the following hierarchy: teacher - admin - reg. superintendent - superintendent
*consolidate (choose one program to be used if at all) and get rid of all these extra programs (e.g. America's Choice, Tool-Kit) because they are causing multi-millions of dollars and the average teacher is not a fan of some of these programs
*Get rid of the night program for non-English speakers, because A. these services already exists within our county through other avenues (i.e. the library and the Literacy Council) and B. to be a US citizen, you must be a fluent English speaker. Sorry, but that would cut out on lots of the problems there if those parents were referred to those agencies.
*train/encourage teachers and other employees to write grants to the thousands of foundations that offer money for schools
*alter school lunches to exclude sweets
*build schools according to need, not greed--tax dollars (new schools are particularly needed in the Accokeek area)
*encourage more beginning teachers to get master's degrees--though they'll get paid more for the degree earned, teachers with advanced degrees tend to be more effective in the classroom and produce higher levels of student success...and in this dog eat dog world of education (smh aside), higher scores = more money

I saved the best ones for last...Improve customer service, revamp the curriculum to make it more logical and realistic to the age being instructed, and FIRE Dr. Hite, who's been the most crooked person and has taken a system on the verge of a comeback (during the Deasy admin.) into the abyss it's currently in (again). They are probably banking on the fact that state legislature will give them the $$ since it's a known fact that PG County has a strong voting power.

Posted by: pierredickson | December 18, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who calls the administration of Hites corrupt, doesn't know from whence he or she speaks. He had absolutely no part in the "book scandal." As to the new county executive, he's like a breath of cool fresh air in the middle of the desert. Much appreciated.

Posted by: lilpixiefig@aol.com | December 18, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who protects Hites adminstration from corruption allegations doesn't know from whence he or she speaks. He is absolutely part of the "book scandal". As for the new county executive Baker, we are watching what he does next with the likes of Dr. William Hites Jr who are destroying the school system while protecting corruption and thinking status quo should remain. We need a new supritendant of schools. period.

Posted by: childrenalways1st | December 18, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Fire Dr william Hite Jr. He was elected in a corrupt manner by the old board and he likes corruption. In my view he is much worse than Jack Johnson was.

Posted by: childrenalways1st | December 18, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

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