Vouchers, teacher bonuses approved | May 1
The path to good public schools
If ever I doubted that the GOP was systematically dismantling the public school system, the proof was right there on the front page of the Tampa Bay Times. Grown men and women applauding and hugging because they had enough votes to give out more vouchers to private schools. I can only guess at the motive behind this latest move because it certainly cannot be about the children. Because if it were about the children, then there would be no high-stakes testing at public schools, which steals hope and dignity from so many children; there would be no school graded a failure because children have yet to reach a level these adults think should be reached by a certain age; the teachers of all children would be paid a living salary and not dependent on bonuses; and lastly, all public schools would be funded fairly.
If these grown men and women truly cared, they could put their money where their mouths are and create schools for the students they claim they want to help. They could then invite these children to attend at no cost. This way they would not be taking money from the public, they would be respecting the Constitution of this state, and they would be making sure public schools are funded fairly, so that our democracy thrives for many generations to come.
Susan Pollard, Seminole
Armed teachers bill goes to governor | May 2
A bright spot amid sad news
This headline provides plenty of sad news, but one bright spot. The sad news is that this bill passed along partisan lines 65-47 with five Republicans voting against it. About three quarters of educators oppose arming teachers, according to a Gallup survey. And the unpopularity of arming teachers suggests that lawmakers who support the idea will face difficulty implementing it.
The bright spot: The bill is a non-starter in our Tampa Bay area with Pasco, HIllsborough and Pinellas counties opposed to arming teachers. The supporters tend to be from rural areas who already own guns.
I suspect that most parents with children relocating to Florida will opt to live in school districts that oppose arming teachers, which will exacerbate the rural/urban divide, but that's a subject for another day.
George Chase, St. Pete Beach
Pasco deputy's gun discharges in school | May 2
Where will next bullet hit?
On the same front page that had the big, bold headline about arming teachers was a small reference to the 1B story about a Pasco deputy's gun going off at school. This is the real headline that should scare every parent of a child in a school. In the article the Sheriff's Office said: "We want to again make it clear that the weapon discharged directly into the wall, and no students were in danger."
With the proliferation of more state-sponsored guns in our schools how soon will it be before the "weapon discharged" will be into one of our sons or daughters?
Peter Barton, St. Petersburg
It must be the gun's fault
It was quite fortunate that the shot injured only a wall. Since we can't blame the well-trained deputy, I guess we'll just have to blame the gun.
Moe Loogham, Lutz