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Forum, Dec. 4: Public schools’ burden

Published: 12/3/2022 10:20:28 PM
Modified: 12/3/2022 10:20:06 PM
Public schools bear a unique burden

Of course parents should be able to choose where they school their children (“Charter School Students up 14%: Past year’s enrollment grew amid push for choice”: Nov. 26). However, it should be kept in mind that this is more easily affordable as they are better off financially. Parents of greater means have always been able to choose where to school their children.

A school is one center for the moral development of the young — both in activities emphasized in its curriculum (understood more broadly than courses taught) — and in those de-emphasized/excluded, e.g. the current focus on “STEM” curriculum. This consideration includes, willy-nilly, the development of civic morality.

Too often parents fail to appreciate that a school, particularly a public school, inescapably exercises such a function. Private and religion-based schools have no obligation to foster civic morality. But for the public school the fostering — not to say a shared common fostering — of civic morality is at the core of its educational function. It should go without saying that civic morality is to be understood here as consistent with the ideals and practices of a system of democratic government under laws.

It is an ongoing struggle to maintain and to foster this function of the public school, as measured by the struggle appropriately to fund public schooling generally, and thereby to make such schooling a common forum for the development of civic morality.

The social-political commitment to the overall welfare of a community’s children has been substantially fobbed off on the public school, which is specifically tasked with providing for the education of all of a community’s children. No private school is so obligated. Nor, apparently, is a charter school.

One way to view charter schools is to recognize that they represent a middle class default on a commitment to both a common effective education and a location for the development of a commonly shared civic morality.

In view of our current political tribalisms, I believe that this is a matter for urgent reflection, and a change in direction, not only in New Hampshire.

Boris G. von York

Springfield, Vt.

Electric vehicle plan needs tinkering

I have a few comments regarding Vermont’s proposal to end the sale of gas powered vehicles (“Vt. may end gas car sales by 2035: Regulators preparing plan to shift to electric vehicles,” Nov. 23). First, since most Vermonters cannot afford electric vehicles, I believe they will simply purchase replacement gas powered vehicles from surrounding states. So unless the state is going to stop issuing new and renewal registrations for gas vehicles, all this legislation will do is to decrease the number of auto dealerships in the state, along with the associated loss of jobs.

As Vermont continues trying to attract people and businesses, will the state be up front about advising that anyone who moves here may need to replace their vehicles?

I assume that all municipalities, businesses and vehicle rental agencies will have to replace most, if not all, of their entire fleets.

Any goal of replacing all gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles will require an enormous investment in charging stations, with utility upgrades to supply the increased power needs.

My feeling is that there is a lot more that needs to be discussed about this legislation before it is enacted.

Stephen Raymond


How would Jesus vote, part 2

I read with interest a recent Forum submission (“How Would Jesus Vote?” Nov. 11). After considering how to respond, I prayed and read Scripture on Jesus’ earthly ministry to ascertain how He would respond to a letter that admittedly raises many good points. First, Jesus has no party affiliation and doesn’t favor Democrats or Republicans, as each party holds some positions He would deem unscriptural. He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” As for social programs, He solved a hunger issue by supernaturally feeding the multitudes so there were 12 baskets of leftovers. Regarding universal health care, He supernaturally healed the sick and on two occasions even raised the dead. He indicated poverty and hunger would be an ongoing reality on earth. Jesus said, “Permit the little children to come unto Me, for of such is the kingdom of God,” but He doesn’t want them prematurely dispatched to heaven via abortion. Jesus was compassionate toward sinners, even telling one woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” So He takes a negative view of adultery and promiscuity, especially if it results in aborting inconvenient pregnancies.

Jesus valued children so much He would certainly frown on their learning destructive theories and deviant sexual practices in school. He would absolutely disapprove of their abandoning God-given gender orientation to mutilate and disfigure bodies He gave them so they are unable to bear future generations. Since their bodies are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” He would be against polluting them with recreational drugs. He said, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s,” so he believed in paying legitimate taxes, but since the image of God and their parents is in every child, they are not property of the state to be “educated” in violation of scripture and parental oversight. God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than ours. Even good secular government makes an inferior substitute for God. If more people invited God’s power into their lives, the result would revolutionize America.

William A. Wittik


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