Letters to the editor/West

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Athletics trump academics at Sto-Rox schools

After 20 years of service, I have resigned from the Sto-Rox school board. It is evident that sacred cows exist inside Sto-Rox and learning and education are not among them. Familiar people are again protecting their fiefdoms under the guise of protecting students.

Whether it is a matter of emphasis or a matter of expenditure, sports have far more dedicated and aggressive supporters than science, language arts, mathematics, or even librarians. Loud and pugnacious voices are being raised over athletics amid deafening silence about academics. Academic under-performance by far too many students has been excused, ignored and set aside in order to facilitate and prioritize their athletic participation.

Budgetary cuts in the overall scheme from sports programs have been relentlessly and ferociously denounced while the furloughing of people directly involved in educating our students has passed by without any comment or concern.

Critics of athletic cuts have alleged that "our students will turn to the streets" without spring sports. If the singular reason students attend Sto-Rox is for sports then there is something woefully inadequate about the educational product inside our classrooms.

The ship is literally sinking and yet many demand a higher deck chair on the doomed vessel. Such tactics are a true disservice to children. Uniformed people consistently fight over trivial matters while they simultaneously stand aside and watch inadequate state funding literally starve the district toward extinction.

In closing, I call upon board members to stand up to the self-serving belligerence of the uniformed and say "no more." The real issues are deplorable state funding cuts and an unremitting drain of resources by Propel Schools, which continues to threaten the survival of Sto-Rox.

As I have tried for two decades, I hope someday soon these real problems receive the same care and attention as sports.

EDWARD J. MARITZ, JR.

McKees Rocks

neigh_west

Letters are subject to editing and should not exceed 250 words. Only one letter will be published from the same writer every three months. The letter must include the writer's name, postal and/or e-mail address and phone number. Send letters to: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222. Or, e-mail: letters@post-gazette.com.


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