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Lakewood Elementary shows why public schools need our support | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Lakewood Elementary School kindergartners Kennedi Flournoy, 5, (right, front) and Heavenlei McKinnie, 5, (left) work on sight words. Lakewood was one of the lowest performing schools in the state of Florida. Now it's one of the schools touted by the state as having avoided the COVID-slide, and is on its way to strong accountability performance.
Lakewood Elementary School kindergartners Kennedi Flournoy, 5, (right, front) and Heavenlei McKinnie, 5, (left) work on sight words. Lakewood was one of the lowest performing schools in the state of Florida. Now it's one of the schools touted by the state as having avoided the COVID-slide, and is on its way to strong accountability performance. [ JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times ]
Published May 15

Public dollars for public schools

How to turn around a failing school? St. Pete’s Lakewood Elementary is on the right path | Editorial, May 14

Kudos to the principal and all of the team at Lakewood Elementary School. They beat the odds. Unfortunately, the odds are only going to get worse with our “leaders” in Tallahassee giving more and more and more money to private schools, many of which are church-run. This is not only damning to the public schools but a genuine hit to the separation of church and state. And Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of the latest school voucher bill at a Catholic school? As smart a politician as he is, this was no coincidence. Shame on him and all of those who voted for the bill. Support public schools with tax dollars, not private schools — religious or secular.

Earl Waters, St. Petersburg.

My daughter is immunosuppressed

Great day for America’ | May 14

The coronavirus vaccine is a luxury! How lucky we are to live in a country that has not one, not two, but three coronavirus vaccines. And each of them provides from 72% to 95% efficacy. My daughter is medically immunosuppressed to retain her lungs gained through transplant. Folks like her have minimal to no antibody protection even after both shots. Those of you who hesitate to protect yourself in a way others can’t begin to, are compromising your health and those others by not helping our country reach herd immunity. Take advantage of this luxury others wish they had.

Kimberly Newport, Tampa

An unasked question

Dozens may avoid prison in Capitol attack | May 14

I just finished reading the article about potential sentences for those involved in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6. It occurs to me that we should ask our governor if he would support charging and sentencing those individuals under the new “anti-riot” law that he so shamelessly advocated. Of course, the question will probably never be asked. Gov. Ron DeSantis stage-manages his interactions with the press to avoid tough questions.

Rick Chapman, Madeira Beach

In complete control

Daughter of lawmaker picked for utility board | May 14

My cereal nearly came out of my nose when I read Florida Sen. Kathleen Passidomo’s statement regarding her daughter’s appointment to the Public Service Commission. “There will never be an instance where she will influence me or I will try to influence her, because that’s not how we operate,” said the future Senate president. That sounds like a perfectly normal mother-daughter relationship, particularly between strong-willed and politically active relatives. What could possibly go wrong? This is what happens when one party has complete control in a state.

Terry Griffin, Lutz

Free at last

Great day for America’ | May 14

Free at last, free at last, thank good God almighty we are free at last from wearing masks. One day we were not, the next day we were. What happened in that one day that made the demigods of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention change their minds?

John Spengler, Spring Hill