2017-03-15 / Guest Views

Letters to the editor

The Spinal Column welcomes letters up to 200 words on topics of general interest. Letters must include full name and town of residence for verification. Letters may be edited for length, grammar and accuracy. Letters may be sent to the Spinal Column Newsweekly at 1103 S. Milford Road, Highland, MI 48357 or emailed to letters@scnmail.com.

HB 610 effects on education

To the Editor:

The U.S. Representatives have introduced HB 610. This bill will effectively start the de-funding process of public schools. We need to know where our representatives stand on this bill. Dave Trott’s phone numbers are 202-225-8171 and 248-528-0711.

The bill will eliminate the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA) of 1965, which is the nation’s educational law and provides equal opportunity in education. It is a comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs.

The bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act), which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch. For our most vulnerable, this may be the ONLY nutritious food they have in a day.

The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting special needs kids, no mention of IDEA and FAPE.

Some things the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA) of 1965 does for children with disabilities:

• Ensures access to the general education curriculum

• Ensures access to accommodations on assessments

• Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning

• Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups

• Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning, including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion.)

Please call Dave Trott, or your House Rep. if it is outside the 11th district.

Michele P.
Commerce Township

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School of Choice

To the Editor:

Despite what our Republican legislators are doing by sneaking valuable tax dollars to private and religious schools, such economic enrichment of schools that are not public schools is prohibited by the Michigan constitution. Parents who choose to have their children home schooled or attend private or religious schools have the right to do so, but they don’t have the right to receive taxpayer subsidies for a non-public school education.

The courts have ruled that there is a constitutionally protected property right to a public school education, which the state has a constitutional responsibility to fund. There is no constitutional right to a private or parochial school education, and no taxpayer dollars should be appropriated for funding those entities.

By law, not one penny of taxpayer funds may legally be used to pay educational costs for private, religious or home schooling, but that doesn’t prevent parents from enrolling their children in non-public schools and paying the costs themselves. Representative Kesto and his Republican colleagues need to take notice of the Michigan constitution. Maybe then they will represent the public interest in public education, not the interests of individual religions, private school businesses or unregulated home school parents.

Patti W.
Commerce Township

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The “resistance” movement

To the Editor:

The “resistance” movement is aptly named, led by very smart people, and they are traitors. They don’t seek a better America, but a different America. A nation where the rule of law is resisted, the idea of America’s exceptionalism is resisted, Trump’s ideas to make America a better place for all Americans is resisted. The military is resisted, the police are resisted, and free speech is resisted unless consistent with “resistance” beliefs.

The “resistance’s” greatest fear is not Trump’s failure, but his triumph on behalf of all Americans. Why? Because it will derail ulterior plans. The aim being a diminished America subservient to a global agenda.

The “resistance” believes American ideals are flawed, their own beliefs rooted in intellectual “truth.” But, while the leaders are smart, their followers not so much. They are short-sighted and foolish. They cannot envision that a weak America will lead to their own enslavement, their grandiose wisdom relegated to the scrap heap, their dreams crushed by the brutality of a cunning, hateful world that awaits them.

Resist the resistance.

Marvin L.
Commerce Township

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