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Opinion Letters Public education has made our country great

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. By the same token it takes a team to educate a child. I married into my Parker family, gaining a sister-in-law that taught first grade nearly 40 years, with several relatives also public educators, with a passion and heart for their profession and the children they taught; for those not so able, as well as the very able. Public education changes their lives, every child, the late bloomers, the disadvantaged, etc., have equal affordable opportunity. Our system of public education with professional educators has been a catalyst to make our country the greatest in the world. Yet, radical Republicans like Sen. Jim Davis and Representative Roger West are engaged in defunding it, joining other state radicals.

When we look at the Republican agenda of vouchers to parents for private schools, some promoting an established religion as well as education, I question the constitutionality of many aspects of siphoning off public monies needed to fund public education. Ten million for the coming year will only provide about 2,500 children vouchers, with the following year 40 million taken away from the public system to be poured into private school businesses. It is discriminatory to take funding from hundreds of thousands of N.C. public school children under the guise of an opportunity scholarship program. Our young people win their educational scholarships after years of proven merit and performance, within an accredited school, not because they are low income and their parents don’t think they fit. Millions of children and adults don’t fit in the world, but adoption is necessary for the common good. Enriching private schools/nee businesses through legislation (placing few requirements and accountability for those private businesses) should not find needed public education tax dollars (taken from thousands of N.C. students) in their pockets.

Is this ploy the first step to privatization of public education?

Marie Parker Leatherwood — Sylva, N.C.





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