Forum, Jan. 14: N.H. Bill Would Undermine Schools

Saturday, January 13, 2018
N.H. Bill Would Undermine Schools

The New Hampshire House of Representatives on Jan. 3 gave preliminary approval to SB193 (“Establishing education freedom savings accounts for students”), which would allow the use of public funds to subsidize tuition to private schools. This is wrong.

One of the fundamental principles of democracy promoted by our country’s founding fathers is that an educated electorate is the foundation of a government by the people. To that end, public funds must be used to educate American citizens of every race, religion, gender, ability or disability, demographic and geographic location. An effective public school system, available throughout the country, is required to meet this basic obligation.

The diversion of tax money toward private education will undermine our public school systems, already struggling to provide a decent education to all comers because of inadequate funding. SB193 will reduce funding for public schools, making a difficult situation worse. This is clearly true, regardless of the false claims of school voucher advocates.

Secondly, most private schools are free to choose which students they admit, based on entrance exams, acceptance criteria or any measure they choose to differentiate the abilities of potential students. Many private schools do not accept students with physical, mental or learning disabilities, as public schools are required to, and many only accept the brightest of their applicants.

With more funding available for private schools, more students of average capability and above will attend private schools. Public schools will be left to serve a population with higher and higher percentages of students who face physical, mental or learning challenges.

We must find ways to strengthen our public schools, not weaken them by siphoning away money and talent. Concerned citizens should contact the New Hampshire House Finance Committee (the next step in the legislative process), their district representatives, and senators to stop this misguided initiative.

Claude Lemoi


The Irony of It All

Were I to be a citizen of any other country reading the U.S. news, I would tsk, tsk and think that Donald Trump is a very angry, sad, lonely, mentally sliding old man. However, I am an American who is appalled that this man and his gang of thieves is hell-bent on totally destroying the United States.

This ironic situation came about due to large blocs of supposed Christians voting him in. This was very strange because Trump does not believe in religion. He is immoral, unethical and evil. He is the opposite of the preaching of the Bible and the words of Jesus.

Stan Phaneuf

Newbury, Vt.

Concerns About Use of Road Salt

Everyone appreciates safe roads. I am sure working on the road crew on these long winter nights is a thankless job. So thanks, all of you plow truck drivers, for your dedication and great work.

That being said, I have an issue with road salt. I have seen numerous times when there is more salt on the roads than snow. I have seen dump trucks driving by piled high with salt. Salt is very corrosive. As I drive, I think about my car rusting away underneath me.

I wonder if there is thought being given to road salt liquids in winter and their effects on the future summer roads. My carport, with its concrete floor, is a shallow salt pond.

Then I think about our water. Do we as citizens ever think about where all this salt ends up? Just think of all the towns in the Upper Valley on both sides of the river (or even the entire Connecticut River watershed) that salt their roads. Are we talking hundreds of tons of salt per town? Multiplied by approximately 100 towns, that is a lot of salt that ends up in our beloved river.

How do aquatic species deal with this alteration of their environment? What about all the vegetation along these roads? How have these plants been surviving this unnatural intrusion of their soil chemistry? Whatever happened to towns using sand instead of such copious amounts of salt? Isn’t salt far more expensive than our local sand?

I hope we, as concerned citizens, think about water quality and use way less salt and more sand in the future.

After all, isn’t Vermont the “environmental” state?

Bill Shepard

Thetford Center

KUA Seeks Workshop Presenters

Kimball Union Academy, one of the nation’s oldest private boarding schools, is looking for workshop presenters from the intellectually vibrant Upper Valley, who can engage students around one of the four key themes of our Global Fair: Global Conflict, World Cultures, Social Justice, and Sustainability.

This event takes place every other year, and hosts 70-80 workshops to encourage students to understand, empathize and act as global citizens. In the past, we have had students, KUA faculty, professors, local professionals and graduate students present. Global Fair is a chance to come together as a community, enjoy each other’s company, and learn together in different ways.

If you are willing to volunteer your time on April 19, please contact me, dspringhorn@kua.org. I’m happy to discuss any ideas you may have or answer any questions. Proposals will be collected through the end of January.

Please feel free to spread the word to any interested presenters.

Deborah Springhorn


Global Fair Coordinator

Headline Writer Gets a Big Hand

Kudos to the Valley News for being so witty. The headline on the Jan. 7 article about Green Mountain Glove in Randolph read “Glove Company Good Fit for Family,” and the subhead just above the article read “Randolph Factory Is Close-Knit.”

Those two statements made my day.

Some famous person supposedly said that puns are the lowest form of humor. Well, I think puns are the highest form of humor. And Shakespeare just might agree with me.

Anyway, thanks for being so punny.

Bob Cattabriga

West Lebanon