As a proud parent of a student in the Philadelphia school system, I have been pleased with the upward direction of the schools. But the recent gains the district has achieved depend on continued resources.

I am concerned that the Republicans' bare-bones education plan would reverse recent gains. The plan would eliminate summer school programs and limit alternative-education services for at-risk students. It would reduce school police coverage.

And it would increase class size. Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's plan to reduce kindergarten classes to a maximum of 23 would be killed, as the limit would be increased to 33. Instead of reducing class size in grades one to three to 24 or 26 students, it would increase it to 33. And class size in grades four through eight would increase to 35.

In the famous Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown tries to kick the football held by Lucy, who pulls it away at the last moment. Just as the Philadelphia schools' Charlie Brown is ready to kick the ball through the uprights of a strong education system and commonwealth, please do not pull away the ball of education funding.

Michael A. Carrier

Philadelphia