- The Washington Times - Monday, March 27, 2000

Decision corrects Montgomery County's transfer policy[p]

The Supreme Court's recent decision on school transfers in Montgomery County is a victory for all of the county's parents and children, despite the negative rhetoric from Montgomery County Board of Education President Patricia O'Neill ("Schools can't bar transfer on race," March 21).

At its core, Montgomery County's transfer policy was discriminatory. It offered opportunities such as magnet programs but denied them to certain students because of their race. Worse yet, the school system was not doing this in the name of affirmative action (i.e. outreach to less advantaged students) but rather to "lock-in" certain students to their assigned school with no alternatives if they were members of a specific racial or ethnic group.

Jeffrey Eisenberg, father of Jacob, was right to fight this case on principle, even though he plans to move to Arlington. Mrs. O'Neill says this decision "ties our hands in the face of the changing social demographics of our schools and communities." Which is more important? Freedom for parents to choose the best public school for their child or the social-engineering efforts of the bureaucracy?

WILLIAM F. TELL

Silver Spring

William F. Tell is a candidate for the Montgomery County Board of Education, District 4.

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