Valley News Forum for May 8, 2023: The real reason for school vouchers

Published: 05-08-2023 3:03 PM

The real reason for school vouchers

The testimony from Ms. Santiago about her son being bullied (“Senate considers raising income cap on state education grants for families,” by New Hampshire Bulletin, April 29) is an incredibly sad story. But let’s be honest about the intent of the vouchers and the spurious reasons to expand them. Taking resources from the public school system weakens the structure. Adding insult to injury is the gagging of teachers. What you end up with is an abandoned shell.

I realize that trying to sway the supporters of this plot to undermine the public school system is useless. I think it is a pathetically low bar to use bullying as a way to accomplish this goal. Teaching tolerance and respect in all schools would be a better choice.

As one of the most important institutions in society, funding for public schools should be robust, equitable and most importantly the bulk of the burden should not fall on homeowners.

Sharon Racusin


Answers to those who justify inaction on climate change

In response to ‘Don’t obsess over your carbon footprint’ (commentary, April 28):

The weather has silenced climate deniers, but the immensity of the problem overwhelms many of us who excuse our inaction by repeating today’s facts, instead of beginning to make the changes necessary for a livable future. Here are some of the statements I hear and some ideas about how they might be addressed:

The changes I make are just too small to make a difference:

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Yes, they are small. But your example makes a difference in others’ morale and desire to do the same. Together, we’ll make a difference.

Together we can go after some of the biggest polluters. Educating the public has to begin somewhere.

You’ll have given something back to the Earth for all its gifts to you.

We can’t avoid climate change:

You’re right we’re in the midst of it.

What do you think the earth will be like in 100 years?

What about doing something to help those who come after you to enjoy Nature?

What about your debt to the Earth for the use of its resources in your lifetime?

It’s unrealistic and too expensive to give up fossil fuels:

Do you believe, then, that they’re inexhaustible?

Have you ever seen photos of the Canadian mining of the tar sands oil in Alberta?

Is it worth it to destroy some of the last wilderness for some of the last oil?

Of course, we will need natural gas and other fuels while we transition to sun and solar.

And, of course, we must begin to transition now to avoid the political, economic, and social costs of scarcity.

Mary Ann Cadwallader


Cognitive dissonance on abortion

Some interesting recent news articles cause me to wonder why normally intelligent people subscribe to crazy and counterproductive theories. For example, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has predicted depletion of the Social Security Trust Fund by 2033. Then, officials in Vermont are concerned about the fact that the state’s population increased by only 100 people during 2022 (that’s a 0.02% increase). And China has discovered that the “one-child” policy in effect until relatively recently has resulted in a permanent imbalance in gender distribution in their population due to selective abortion of females. So tell me again, why is abortion such a good way to solve a variety of social problems, when it can easily be shown to be causal in each of the aforementioned situations?

The recent ruling by a federal judge in Texas blocking the use of mifepristone in abortion cocktails has generated a hue and cry among abortion proponents, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The situation seems somewhat parallel to the dilemma faced by some states when certain drugs were unavailable for the drug cocktail used in lethal injections of condemned criminals. Idaho has dusted off the use of firing squads so executions can continue. I’m sure a solution [no pun intended] will be found to facilitate the execution of in utero infants guilty of the capital crime of being too inconvenient or possibly too expensive.

A recent article stated that of over 1,200 abortions performed in Vermont in 2022, about 75% were medicinally induced (“Vermont officials busy making plans for access,” by VTDigger, April 12). If mifepristone remains unavailable, the use of the single drug misoprostol was determined to be “not best practice” because of its effects on the comfort of the woman choosing to abort her fetus. Speaking of “best practices,” whatever became of “Do no harm” from the Hippocratic (hypocritical?) Oath? Is any care taken to lessen the pain of the infant being sacrificed while “tweaking” the comfort of the abortive mother? As long as society sticks its head in the sand to deny the personhood of the preborn infant, we will have to contend with this double standard in what passes for medical care. And there will be a price for us to pay.

William A. Wittik