Charter schools provide GOP with voters, money
Your June 11 editorial asking about the agenda of Ohio legislators regarding "community" (charter) schools made me paranoid. It looks like a double siphon operation: a version of corporate welfare and siphoning off future voters. I have a Ralph Nader-type thing about political sacred cows. My wary brain says that if a party comes in second in voter registration, it needs a way to multiply voters.
Give proficiency tests to flunk the schools. Get unhappy, right-learning parents to switch their kids to charter schools, a long-range voter cloning plan.
I think state legislators, whom you mention, mean to trade on the disenchantment of many parents with inner-city schools, to get them to pull their kids out and to put them in private, often religious ones. Private religious schools are apt to minimize or eliminate the teaching of evolution, avoid sensitive issues and not crank out wild-eyed, liberal (ugh!) graduates.
Folks disappointed with public schools are apt to vote "conservative." Astute Columbus pols would hope that kids placed in these schools would grow up to vote "right," too. So it looks a little like these charter-school advocates want to establish Republican voter factories and become the majority party. A skeptic divines still more of the charter schools' agenda: to siphon public money for privately controlled schools. Competition of new private schools with public schools? One main competition is for tax money. An old American tradition, this Great Treasury Raid, corporate welfare.
Charter schools can't compete in schooling the handicapped, at about double the cost to educate the rest, or in schooling crack babies or poverty-stricken kids. They fish in big voter pools, troubled Akron waters, not much in rural and small towns, where USA Today says G.W. Bush voters already predominate. I don't think they're eager to serve needy kids. Charter schools can't compete in salaries to attract well trained teachers, even with the public school salary average at only $40K-$45K. Their agenda is not competitive-quality education. They show they don't want to compete in capital outlay for buildings, but to mooch off the public sector once more.
There are more ways for big political parties to finance their goals than by passing the hat.
CHARLES L. REID
Article on handicapped helpful to readers
I am writing to compliment John W. Goodwin Jr. for the article "Curbed and perturbed" in the June 4 Vindicator. Thank you for accurately depicting the obstacles that Missy Skomra and thousands of others, myself included, face daily in our attempts to get from point A to point B.
I live in Boardman and use a power wheel chair as well, so I am personally familiar with the problems you reported on.
Until I read this piece, I didn't know who to contact about maintenance or repair. Now that I know who and how they need input from me to become aware of these problems, I will be sure to let them know.
CHARLES T. FARRELL