A Pinellas school board member tells Gov. DeSantis why local control matters | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
Pinellas County Schools Vice Chairperson Laura Hine attends the “State of the Bay” event held by Suncoast Tiger Bay on Jan. 3, 2023, in St.Petersburg.
Pinellas County Schools Vice Chairperson Laura Hine attends the “State of the Bay” event held by Suncoast Tiger Bay on Jan. 3, 2023, in St.Petersburg. [ ANGELICA EDWARDS | Times ]
Published Mar. 7

Tallahassee overreach

Florida’s edicts on classrooms are wearing thin with some school board members | March 3

The overreach from Tallahassee into our schools is extraordinary and inconsistent with the conservative value of home rule, or local control. This was also the value and determination of Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams and other Founding Fathers when they debated and determined that schools should be locally led and expressly nonpartisan. From my research, the reason they felt this way (and this remains true today) is that the students who attend our schools largely remain in or return to our communities, so communities should largely determine what they need from graduates, and that the changing of political parties and their focus of the day would be destabilizing for our education system. We are certainly seeing their prognosis play out across Florida.

Laura Hine, St. Petersburg

The author is vice chairperson of the Pinellas County School Board.

More penalties, please

630,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into Hillsborough River | March 3

It would appear that Tampa already had a form of “toilet to tap” recently from the main source of our drinking water, the Hillsborough River. While I understand that TECO would turn off customers for nonpayment, shouldn’t the utility know the locations of pumping stations? Would it not make sense for property owners with pumping stations on the premises to have required automatic payment? Whatever the penalties turn out to be, they need to be a lot higher.

C.M. Allison, Tampa

Cruising with COVID

Florida is still learning a hard COVID lesson | Editorial, Feb. 7

Returned from a 10-day cruise out of Miami, not feeling well. Yup, tested positive for COVID-19 because in Florida, cruise lines, and all businesses, are prohibited from requiring proof of vaccination. We are fully vaccinated but it appears not all others were. Thanks to our governor’s assurance, we are free to cruise with COVID and free to infect others.

Tony Leisner, Tarpon Springs

The problem with Florida

Not free to be free | Letter, March 5

The letter writer was correctly despondent over the loss of freedom that Gov. Ron DeSantis dresses up as freedom, ending with “Worse: More than half of Florida seems to agree.” Not really. Due to a dysfunctional Democratic Party, almost half of Florida did not vote (turnout was 54%). DeSantis had 4.6 million votes, a landslide of those who voted. But there are 14.5 million registered voters. Much of Florida either does not agree with him or doesn’t care. That is the problem with Florida.

Terri Benincasa, Palm Harbor