Letters to the Editor for Oct. 2, 2012
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 1, 2012 at 3:53 p.m.
The Legislature fails to fund our schools
Keith Birkett's Oct. 1 Speaking Out about the School Board's millage assessment was informative, but one of the "takeaways" I had was this was yet another instance of the failure of the state Legislature's leadership.
Investing in education is the most effective economic development driver, yet the state saw fit to reduce investment in schools yet again.
Not only did they reduce funding to schools, at a time when the number of students is not shrinking, but they hid the reduction by putting the responsibility on the School Board to replace the funds.
It is disingenuous to tout that you've reduced the "burden" on taxpayers, knowing full well that the taxpayers will have to make up the difference anyway.
I absolutely back the local one mill for schools; bringing our state back into prosperity by investing in our kids is the right thing to do.
Where is the outrage over low test scores?
Alachua County prides itself on having an educated, active and informed electorate, but that pride is misplaced.
Two recent news articles, and the lack of any discernable reaction to them, illustrates this point.
At the same time that it was reported that Alachua County has the highest real estate taxes in the state — a crushing burden on the poor, elderly and those on fixed budgets — the FCAT reading scores were announced: 20 percent of the elementary schools in this county made the list of the worst schools in the state.
I kept waiting for a School Board member, or anyone, to express a cogent thought. I'm still waiting.
The focus of the educational industry and lobby in this county is only on higher pay, denial of the validity of standardized tests, non-accountability, richer benefits, more time off and denying parents any choice in the education of their children.
Edward B. Harmon,
To college students: Work, don't borrow
Frequently there are articles by college graduates bemoaning the debt they have incurred. In reading them I am reminded of my wife.
She waited tables, etc., during eight semesters and worked summers at a bus terminal punching tickets. She graduated with high grades and no debt.
The above is intended as a helpful suggestion for future college students, not criticism.
William D. Hedges,
Obamacare caters to, enriches Big Pharma
Obama and his Catholic Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sibelius, had a lot more in mind when they decided to try and guarantee reproductive health services for all women. They saw the big bucks from Big Pharma coming their way for re-election.
Contraceptives and condoms are already free or very cheap. The HHS mandate, which opens the door for brand-name drugs and devices "does not insist on generics and it does not offer any cost containment" writes Peter Schweizer in the Daily Beast. "What's more, the mandate prevents health insurance companies from having copays or deductibles for the benefit."
Now consider that the drug industry, according to Tim Carney in the Washington Examiner, "has spent $635 million on lobbying since Obama was sworn in, which is more than Wall Street and oil and gas combined."
"Nobama" will do anything, including pretending to battle special interests, to win.
The wrong solutions
Regarding our present "health" care system, an analogy:
Let's say, for example, there is a dangerous curve in our town, and every year people drive into the woods and deaths and injuries happen.
So our local government spends millions on better ambulance services and increasingly expensive helicopter access. Wouldn't it be a better use of our money to put a guard rail and better markings on the road to prevent the deaths and injuries?
Obama care or Romney care are both ignoring the guardrail approach. Perhaps there is not as much money to be made. The fundamentals of our present "disease care" system remain.
Steven B. Schargel,