Vouchers aren’t the solution

Vouchers aren’t the solution

A Vindicator article about a recent voucher problem quoted Gov. Kasich lavishly praising vouchers. It raises a vital question for Ohio. Do we want quality public schools for all of Ohio’s kids, or do we just want to send our tax dollars to private companies and organizations?

School voucher plans are just a form of privatization. These programs take money out of the public school system to fund private education. Voucher plans undermine public education, reduce the support needed to adequately fund public education, and have the potential for racial, economic, and social segregation of children.

The available data suggests serious problems with vouchers and that they do not improve student learning. Vouchers drain on federal, state and local treasuries. Limited public funds could be more effectively invested in programs designed to help children in public schools.

Expanding voucher programs just doesn’t make sense for Ohio. Let’s not divert public resources to support private education at a time when we need to do all we can to improve our public schools.

JoAnn Johntony, Girard

The writer is state president of the Ohio Association Public School Employees, OAPSE/AFSCME/AFL-CIO.

Not what this voter bargained for

I agree with the statement in Bertram de Souza’s Feb. 20 column that candidate Kasich was elected on reducing the size and cost of government. No where did I hear a specific agenda to accomplish the task. “Everything is on the table” and “re-examine the collective bargaining law of 1983” were not disclosed as fully as they should have been.

He doesn’t want to re-examine the law; he wants to abolish it. I see how this falls under jobs for Ohio. By allowing cities and municipalities to determine wages, benefits, and working conditions, some public employees will be forced to retire. This will create jobs at a much lower pay and reduced benefits. Some may opt to leave Ohio, thereby reducing Ohio taxes and possibly leaving their homes for the local government to do as they see fit. The rest will just lower their standard of living.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Some Ohio politicians will do everything they can to get people to leave Ohio.

Now, should all of Gov. Kasich’s plans prevail, does any one see a reduction in taxes? I see a reduction in services, private businesses making banner profits but not passing those gains to their workers. (That’s where unions entered the work force many years ago.)

I voted for Gov. Kasich as I thought he had a better plan for Ohio. Now I have become one of those mosquitoes on the elephant’s behind. Judging from the number of people protesting at the Statehouse, this will soon be a swarm.

Fred J. Eichorn, Newton Falls

We’re wasting money and doing a disservice to justice all at once

I found the Feb. 24 letter, “Wasting money on the condemned,” refreshing, because for years I have felt that if our system of justice continues to become more crippled than it already is, then perhaps it should be referred to as a “handicap zone.”

The writer expresses his concern about all the money that is spent housing criminals on death row for years while that money could be better spent on social programs to help people in need instead of them being cut.

Not only does it bring to my mind all the years that Danny Lee Hill continues to sit on death row for torturing and murdering 12-year-old Raymond Fife while he was on his way to a Boy Scout meeting, but also for the outrageous way he was allowed to play and mock the justice system.

If that isn’t bad enough and a kick in the justice system stomach, he dares to diagnose himself as being mentally retarded. I find it amazing that someone who claims to be mentally retarded would have such knowledge not only about mental illness but also about how to play the system. In my humble opinion I would think such knowledge would be housed only in the mind of a master criminal. I believe Danny Lee Hill to be not only a murderer but also a master criminal.

As a taxpayer I find it hard to digest the power that is given criminals, while victims and their loved ones must wait years to receive some measure of justice.

I will always believe that justice should be administered fairly, and swiftly for all people, be they rich or poor.

I believe if our system of justice continues to collapse it wouldn’t be hard to understand why criminals would believe that “crime does pay”.

Justice for all should not be years and years of waiting for victims and their loved ones.

Sad isn’t it, that the life of a criminal seems to be given more value than the life of someone they might have taken.

Perhaps there is some truth in the saying, “Patience is a virtue one acquires with time.” Time alone gives or takes away that which one waits for.

Mary Lou Jurina, Youngstown

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