1. Letters to the Editor

Businesses partner with schools to unleash potential | Tuesday's letters

The new school year

How businesses help out schools

As students head back to school, Tampa Bay business executives are partnering with school principals through the Council for Educational Change to enhance principals' leadership skills and drive student academic performance.

School principals' resources keep shrinking and responsibilities keep growing. They can't do it alone. The business community must get involved and work with school leadership.

Improving the academic performance of students nurtures our future workforce, and our Career Awareness Leadership Forums are one way companies are benefiting from their involvement. For example, we partnered with Duke Energy to create awareness of jobs in the energy industry. Many students didn't know that there are opportunities beyond working on power lines. They also learned that many of the job opportunities do not require a college degree. Students received the opportunity to see the day-to-day life of a worker at Duke Energy and ask questions about the jobs and their career paths.

The council also partnered with CitiGroup, Softwerx and the University of South Florida to deliver a forum focused on Information Technology. Students, principals and teachers from 15 Hillsborough schools learned about current and future job opportunities in the IT industry in a program funded by the Hillsborough Education Foundation and Hillsborough schools. Students were exposed to concepts of artificial intelligence, anti-money laundering and cyber security.

The council also partnered with Hillsborough schools to host the Technical Healthcare Forum, which was the recipient of the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education CAD Academy Award.

Creating awareness of careers in different industries helps schools adjust their curriculum to better prepare our future workforce. This year, think about what you can do to let our students discover the jobs and career opportunities in your industry.

Elaine Liftin, Weston

The author is president and executive director of the Council for Educational Change, a statewide, nonprofit organization focused on improving student achievement and addressing critical education issues.

Would Fla. ban virtually all guns? | PolitiFact, Aug. 19

The first step to confiscation

A critical aspect of the proposed gun ban is the requirement to register existing banned firearms with Florida Department of Law Enforcement. But to what purpose? Does registering a gun prevent its use to murder? Of course not. So why do it? Registration is required in anticipation of a future law that would contain an outright ban on the ownership of such firearms. When the authorities know who owns the guns, they know where to go get them. Couching this as a measure to increase safety, especially the safety of our children, is dishonest and distasteful.

John Weiss, Spring Hill

Grandpa knew the difference

Forty-three years ago, Attorney General Ashley Moody's grandfather, Hillsborough Circuit Judge James Moody, was kind enough to write a letter of recommendation for me for law school. Without comment on his judgment in that regard, I am certain Judge Moody would know the difference between an assault rifle and a squirrel gun.

William R. Mumbauer, Brandon