Non-public schools reject kids they can't educate
The community should be thankful to principal Mary Ann Schulay of Sheridan Elementary School for her insight into the unfair comparison of proficiency scores between "school systems."
Her most disturbing comment may have gone unnoticed near her conclusion. She stated, "Excluded from this comparison is the fact that students from all three schools being compared to the Youngstown City School District have been returned to Youngstown schools when they were unable to be successful at those schools."
Nobody doubts that public schools in many cities are failing their children, for reasons too numerous to list here. No one doubts either that well-to-do families have an escape valve and exercise that option. They can pay for private schools or move to communities with better schools, often leaving the very neighborhood schools that nurtured their early education.
Suburban public schools and some non-religious private schools reject voucher-bearing poor children from the inner-city unless, of course, the child is an all-city or all-state athlete, then tutors will be found for $2500. These same schools have no history to confirm that they accept any of the following: our physically disabled, our mentally disabled, our attention deficit disorder children, our severely behavioral handicap (SBH) children, and not any child who has fallen into the educational abyss called the "minority achievement gap." In the case of many non-public schools, their objective is not to help our children, but to recoup their ailing financial bottom lines.
Let us remember that church schools were founded to provide education in line with specific religious beliefs. It is the reason they exist and they have flagrantly struggled to stay solvent. (Guess who's been lobbying Congress the last term?)
Using public funds to relieve some of that burden is a bad idea. We also should remember that some private schools were created for reasons not always legal or wholesome, especially ignoring Supreme Court decisions on school segregation.
Finally, allow me to bring to your attention that the non-public schools were sending children back to the Youngstown City Schools while they were advertising for fall enrollment.
CLARENCE N. BOLES
X The writer is a member of the Youngstown Board of Education.
Medicare recipients need prescription drug benefit
I wish to inform all retirees and Medicare recipients of the urgency to call their Sens. Voinovich and DeWine at 1-800-869-3150 and say: Politics as usual won't cut it. We need action. It is time to pass a permanent Medicare drug benefit at least as good as the Graham-Miller proposal.
Eighty percent of retirees use at least one prescription drug every day and the average Medicare beneficiary fills 18 prescriptions a year. Many Medicare beneficiaries are reaching the financial breaking point as the cost of prescription drugs soars. Others don't fill prescriptions because they can't afford them. Clearly the time has come to add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that needs improvement.
Now it is time for the Senate to act. Medicare beneficiaries need a benefit that offers real value at an affordable price, a benefit available to all on a voluntary basis no matter their age, health or where they live.
Let Sens. DeWine and Voinovich hear from you now, before the current window of opportunity is closed and we are stuck with yet another year of empty promises and campaign rhetoric.
X The writer is legislative chair of AARP Group #4545.