Letters To The Editor 5/26/2019
Editor: As a Crestwood Area School District taxpayer in Luzerne County and current administrator at Intermediate Unit 29 in Schuylkill County, I agree with recent stories on the state’s funding for special education lagging behind district needs.
Special education costs continue to rise despite decreased funding. As public school funding continues to decline, but with its continuing obligations, the burden falls on local taxpayers to make up the difference in the form of increased school taxes.
Years of underinvestment by the state has left schools $3 billion short in basic education and $1.38 billion short in special education funding. Citizens should support Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed $200 million increase in basic education funding, driven out through the fair school funding formula, $50 million more in special education funding for children with disabilities, and $10 million more targeted to career and technical education classrooms.
GREGORY S. KOONS, Ed.D.
Editor: A recent Times-Tribune story about likely furloughs and a tax hike in the Carbondale Area School District (“Carbondale Area board reduces number of planned teacher furloughs,” May 21) did not note that state funding for public schools has not kept pace with the cost of educating students.
Readers should know that Pennsylvania ranks 46th in share of public education funding and in fact, if the state would fully fund the fair school funding formula it passed three years ago, Carbondale Area would see an additional $10 million annually. If the state funded public schools adequately, not only would staff reductions be unnecessary, but the district would be able to make additional investments in school infrastructure and curriculum, and slow the rate of increases passed on to local taxpayers.
It’s time for Harrisburg to do something for the local schools and communities that its policies have shortchanged for so long.
GARY M. SMEDLEY
CARBONDALE AREA SCHOOL BOARD
Editor: These are perilous, strange times on the cusp of Earth’s projected sixth mass extinction.
Even with a million species threatened and climate change an incontrovertible fact, we still contend with a group of deniers and delusionals. No amount of factual information from scientists, arguments from Green New Dealers and global extinction rebellion folk have made even a dent into their hardened viewpoint regarding the planet’s prospects. Some of these late-capitalism transhumanists are hellbent on militarizing and colonizing space after the Earth does away with us humans.
So, here’s hoping that corporate titans like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Richard Branson and the giants of the military-industrial complex can eventually reach the event horizon point at the recently photographed black hole in deep space. Apparently, that is the area where time as we know it stops. Nothing lasts forever if you don’t care for it, especially the mothership we all inhabit.
SOUTH ABINGTON TWP.
Mayor out of sight
Editor: What ever happened to Mayor Bill Courtright Sandiego?
For the first few years as mayor he seemed to be everywhere, even places you didn’t want him to be. Now that he is under federal investigation it seems he has taken up magic and done a disappearing act.
Does anyone know what happened to him? Did he fall in a ditch? Is he still in the state? Maybe he is tracking down whoever turned him in or set him up.
Perhaps it’s time to send out an APB on the mayor. On second thought, since he has been out of sight and mind, for the most part, no more of Scranton has fallen to the ax that only seems to benefit the unions.
It seems that the city has been running fairly well without Courtright. So, maybe we should let missing mayors lie.
Now, that’s challenge
Editor: A man who recently died after reaching the top of Mount Everest said he climbed it because he wanted to do something nobody ever did before.
My sympathy to his family, but want to do something nobody has ever done before?
Invent a roll of plastic wrap that won’t cling to itself. Bring peace to the Middle East. Say, “rubber baby buggy bumpers” five times fast. Reason with a Trump supporter. Beat James Holzhauer in a game of “Jeopardy!”
Don’t climb 29,000-foot mountains. It can drastically reduce your life expectancy.