Another plan for faltering schools | May 9
The right ideas, cash still needed
The administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of students in underperforming schools. Focusing on a comprehensive offering of preschool options seems to be critical. We all know that the foundation established in the first year of school is key to a child’s lifelong attitude toward education. But finding the money will be a challenge due to the Legislature’s habit of underfunding public schools. The effects of this annually repeated shortage currently include former allies pitted against each other as the teachers union and the administration struggle with base funding inadequate to provide a fair salary schedule and periodic raises and underfunding of transportation expenses, forcing the unhappy move to three busing shifts, wonderfully efficient financially but a nightmare to parents. In November, voters can elect legislators willing to make the hard decisions necessary to adequately fund public schools.
Richard Warrener, Odessa
Longo: Rays should move | May 11
My family and I have shared Rays season tickets since Year One. A lifelong baseball fan, I have never taken the Rays for granted, successes or failures aside. The Tampa Bay area now has 3 million people or 28 percent more than in 2000. With such growth, I would expect many 1998 preschoolers, now adults, in the fan base. This hasn’t happened. If the Rays built the greatest stadium in the best location anywhere in Tampa Bay, I fear that team support would still be woeful. It is sad, but I must conclude that having the Rays here is a failed effort. (Prove me wrong, fans!) Still, I plan to watch the Rays until they are Longonia.
Dave Bremm, Seminole
Bigger than baseball
Evan Longoria has $86 million remaining on his contract, while the average wage in Tampa Bay’s huge service sector is $26,305. Our area faces large deficits affecting our schools, our mental health facilities, our prisons and the environment. Longoria feels there needs to be more cheering fans at the games, for what purpose, a higher salary for the players, the owners, or just to make him feel good? There is a growing tide of sentiment that taxpayers want our tax dollars to go to services that enrich our lives daily. I hope that California makes Longoria feel more loved because we have bigger issues at hand.
Diane Pearson, Dunedin
School security vs. cost | May 11
Let the NRA pay
I didn’t know what all the fuss is about. The answer to the question of payment for the new school security effort is obvious. The NRA should be more than willing and eager to pay for all expenses.
Gary Washe, Tarpon Springs
An open internet
Net neutrality is important to me. I don’t think giant companies should be allowed to restrict or slow down network traffic. The United States has poorer internet coverage and slower speeds than many countries, yet we pay more and it will only get worse.
Pamela Rathmell, Venice