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Readers Speak

Help our schools open

Dear Editor,

To reopen our schools safely, Pennsylvania needs Congress’ help

Pennsylvania educators and administrators are putting plans in place to reopen our schools to students in the new school year. We still have a lot of work to do, but one thing is clear: our schools will need federal help to reopen safely.

That is why the Pennsylvania State Education Association is urging Congress to provide $175 billion in emergency federal education funding.

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused state and local tax revenues to plummet. Despite facing its own deficit, the state maintained school funding next year without cuts. Emergency federal funding is our only hope to bridge revenue shortfalls at the local level. Otherwise, schools will have to make deep cuts that could cost up to 40,000 jobs in education across Pennsylvania.

For schools to reopen safely, we need educators, counselors, nurses, custodians, and many other school staffers to keep the physical spaces in our schools free from illness and to meet the needs of students.

I urge our U.S. senators and representatives to provide the additional funding our schools will need to make that happen.

Rich Askey,

President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association,

Harrisburg

Peace goes to push

Dear Editor,

I have had my fill of the “peaceful” protests that have been anything but peaceful.

Businesses that were just getting reopened after the coronavirus were literally destroyed by the “peaceful” crowd with baseball bats, bricks, and incendiaries. Everyone goes to a peaceful protest with those items, right?

At first, I sympathized with what the protests were supposed to be about — the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman. Who wouldn’t be appalled by what that awful video revealed?

However, groups took advantage of the situation to humiliate, injure, intimidate, and murder anyone in their way. The police in these cities and states were ordered to stand down or do nothing to provide for the safety of their citizens. Governors and mayors take an oath to protect and serve their state’s or city’s residents. I don’t get the motive for blatant disregard of “Law and Order” that they profess to support.

By week two of the “peaceful” protests, these uninformed idiots demanded that their city or state governments defund the police. I won’t waste your time explaining why that would be a disaster as any sane person already knows that. Then, the whole “peaceful hoax” morphed into “Let’s destroy America’s visible heritage by defacing monuments, etc. with graffiti and ripping down statues that are deemed ‘racist.”’

These people are completely ignorant of history. For example, President Lincoln freed the slaves and fought a war over it.

President Grant pushed for the 15th amendment giving the freed slaves the right to vote.

Monuments to Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt are also on the offensive list with no regard for their contributions to our country. Is anyone’s life better because of these acts? What is the goal?

“History is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from it. And if it offends you, even better. Because then you are less likely to repeat it. It’s not yours to erase. It belongs to all of us!” (author unknown)

Where and when will this end? What if the “idiots” come to Warren County and destroy the statue of Gen. Warren and then proceed to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument smashing it to the ground with sledge hammers. What about the original and copy of the Dough Boy sculpture from Oakland cemetery?

One individual tweeted that all of the images of Jesus and family be destroyed in all church windows, church/cemetery statuary, and in printed material as they were “white supremacist.” Really?

Unless the government leaders where these unlawful acts are taking place grow a spine and end this lawlessness it may very well find its way to Warren County. Then, how will you feel and what will you do?

Joanne Oviatt,

Pittsfield

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