Letters To The Editor 8/5/2018
Editor: The recent announcement that art and music classes will be eliminated from the curriculum of the Scranton School District caused much concern among myself and friends, many of them retired teachers.
Lack of funds was cited as the justification to drop these critical classes for child development. These conversations led me to research the formula used to distribute Pennsylvania public school funds.
I learned that there was no formula to reduce inequities in distribution of funds to the neediest students and schools. That changed when Gov. Tom Wolf signed Act 35, which established a fair, equitable formula for allocating new state funds to schools in the state. This act takes into account the wealth of the district, current taxes and ability to raise revenue, plus the number of students below the poverty level and the number of children who speak English. Granted, this applies to new funding only, which is 10 percent of total funding. The challenge for state legislators is to extend this formula to all public school funding.
Further research led me to another education initiative of the governor.
“Not every child in Pennsylvania will go to a four-year college, but every child needs the skills to compete for a good job,” Wolf said. He has initiated a program called PAsmart, a workforce development project that connects businesses with educational and economic development partners to provide job training
Manufacturers report they have many vacancies but no skilled job applicants to hire. Are Democrats listening? Here is a positive issue to promote in the midterm elections.
PHYLLIS C. REINHARDT
Editor: In reviewing the frightening Luzerne County campaign rally-style convocation of a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump and U. S. Senate candidate Lou Barletta on Thursday, I am thankful for incumbent Sen. Bob Casey.
As Trump and his administration seek to slash both illegal and legal immigration, including the admission of refugees, he told his supporters with his usual class and refinement, “This is our country, so get the hell out.” Yes, Trump got his, so the heck with anyone else who seeks opportunity and safety in our country. It is Trump’s country, not theirs.
A protester was escorted out as people in the dignified crowd made an obscene gesture to him and shouted him down. What would an assemblage of Trump supporters be without the traditional chant of, “Lock her up,” in reference to Hillary Clinton, along with his lies, the false assertion that Casey favors open borders and that he welcomes MS-13 gang members to our country?
Barletta stooped to promote himself as someone with whom we will enjoy a fake display of patriotism at professional football games and pledged “to take a knee to pray and stand for the flag.”
It is gratifying that Barletta appears to have little chance of winning against the well-funded incumbent who leads quietly and with dignity rather than with bombast.
OREN M. SPIEGLER
UPPER ST. CLAIR,
adds to danger
Editor: More great news could be on the way for our gun-happy culture.
Any wannabe domestic terrorists, bank robbers, domestic abusers or neighborhood nut jobs may eventually be able to own their very own firearms, simply by opening a browser and printing out an undetectable, fully functional plastic gun through 3D-printing technology. An effort to make the plans available online has been delayed by court action.
These weapons can even slip by those pesky airport scanners that help prevent terrorists from hijacking airliners and crashing them into buildings, if they so desire.
Of course, there’s no need to worry about an annoying background check.
Maybe the new rallying cry of the National Rifle Association could become:
“Fear of a background check making you spastic?
Calm your nerves by printing out plastic!”
In the event that gun violence does increase in a nation that already leads the world in firearm homicides by a wide margin, I suppose we can always hope for access to computer printouts of plastic bulletproof vests.