I read with interest your March 9 editorial “About the kids.” I agree that education is about the kids. I would argue that all school districts across the state and the country focus their attention on the kids and the education that they deserve and need. Our job is to prepare our students to be able to compete and succeed in the world that they will experience in their future.
Education is a people business. It takes people to teach, counsel, feed, transport, coach, help, accelerate, test and monitor the health of students, caring for them before and after school.
That is our business, our responsibility and our passion. Funding these responsibilities has been shifted from our state and federal government to local taxpayers. Funding has gone down, and expectations and mandates have gone up. This process has been accelerated the past few years.
I agree that there are some people, maybe many, who miss the point that “a concern for insufficient resources is all about educating kids” and that a lack of funding denies “students the opportunities that they deserve.”
What I don’t agree with is the comment, “Ohio devotes more resources to educating its most advantaged students, in the likes of Revere, Hudson and Beachwood, than its most disadvantaged in Akron and Cleveland.”
The fact is, districts like Akron and Cleveland get much more state and federal funding than the districts mentioned. For example, Revere receives only 8 percent of its budget from state resources. Ninety-two percent of Revere’s revenue comes from local tax dollars. You will find similar ratios in districts like Hudson and Beachwood.
I don’t deny the need to supplement urban and rural school districts with additional funding to give all students opportunities to succeed. After all, it is about the kids. Yet, I feel the editorial misrepresented some of the facts to make that very important point.
Randy S. Boroff
Revere Local School District
Editor’s note: According to the state Department of Education’s Expenditure per Pupil Equivalent, an apples-to-apples comparison of spending in the classroom, factoring for poverty, the Akron Public Schools spent $8,244 per pupil in 2013. Revere spent $12,014, and Hudson, $10,745.
Let us take a look at what Gov. John Kasich and the state legislature have done so far for the state of Ohio. The first thing the governor did was attack public workers and teachers. He also attacked labor unions.
Then he stopped liquor profits from going to the state (approximately $180 million). This money went to JobsOhio, a private entity the state can’t even audit. He then wanted to sell the turnpike to private, for-profit companies.
Finally, he claimed he wants everyone to have a tax cut, then turned around and took the homestead exemption from seniors who make over $30,000 a year.
I think the governor and legislature have done a lousy job for the people of the state. I am an average, working-class citizen, and I don’t believe the governor and his cronies do one thing to benefit people like me.
Jeffrey A. Hogue
About stereotypes and discrimination
The Cleveland professional baseball franchise adopted the “Indians” name nearly 100 years ago. As this anniversary approaches, it is important to reflect on the name’s historical and current meanings. Much has changed with regard to U.S. race relations since 1915.
The “Indians” team name was adopted because it evoked particular meanings for sports enthusiasts — aggression, bravery, dedication and pride. Such images of American Indians seem honorable when American history is ignored.
Knowing, however, that historical references to Indian “aggression” were used to justify the genocide and colonization of U.S. indigenous peoples puts a different spin on the use of “Indians” as an athletic team name.
But calling Cleveland’s professional baseball team the “Indians” also affects the everyday lives of American Indians because stereotypical ideas, embedded in the culture for hundreds of years, have replaced genuine concerns for the identities, communities and cultures of American Indian people.
The treatment of American Indian protesters outside the Cleveland baseball stadium illustrates this point. Protesters witness firsthand how the “harmless” team name causes baseball fans to callously disregard the history and humanity of American Indian people. They angrily yell insults like “Go back to where you came from!” They don feathers and face paint for entertainment, although these items are sacred to American Indian people.
Despite these challenges, the Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance remains steadfast in its opposition to the use of the “Indians” name and “Chief Wahoo” mascot. We urge you to join us in protesting a team name that bolsters stereotypes and perpetuates discrimination against American Indian people. It is time to lay these historical relics to rest and help Cleveland become a 21st-century city where all people are treated with respect and dignity.
Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance
Though not a fan of rampant environmentalism, I wholeheartedly agree with the 31-acre land purchase in Coventry Township by the Ohio Valley Conservation Coalition (“31 acres in Coventry bought by land trust,” March 14).
The group’s effort to stem the unbridled and unneeded development in this area is not only commendable but necessary to stave off the garish, crowded ugliness that would certainly be created.
One needs to look no farther than Green or Montrose to experience the transformation caused by developers, from pleasant, sleepy, comfortable areas into crowded, hideous, asphalt-and-concrete caldrons seething with cars, trucks and motorcycles, their owners scurrying to beat the hordes chasing the elusive American Dream.
These areas have essentially become way stations on the road to that dream. They are lined with gas stations, car lots, greasy, overpriced food joints, cookie-cutter hotels and repugnant retail boxes, in which items rained on us from offshore can easily be obtained.
This land purchase should, for a while at least, prevent the urban steam roller from erasing that little patch of unspoiled green space.
It is doubtful that postponing “progress” will lead to anyone’s untimely demise for want of what another ticky-tacky development would provide. More development is not better, it’s simply more.
I read the story about pedophile Richard Rudman (“Child-porn crimes muted,” March 19). I am appalled. My disgust obviously begins with Rudman, but all along the way, this was an insult to children victims of our community, starting with the Rev. Daniel Reed, who promptly notified the diocese about this issue.
Why did he not notify the police? Aren’t school administrators required to do so? And then he let the teachers, but not the parents, know about this “single incident”?
Why was Rudman given such a light sentence? This was a horrific crime against children. The young woman who must now learn to live with what happened is not the only victim. Every child who appeared on his computer is a victim.
His attorney added to my disgust by expecting the community to feel sorry for his client because prison will be hard for him.
I hope that these people have filed a lawsuit against the diocese and the individuals involved in this for their lack of compassion and “Christian” ethics.
Out of options
From what the writer of the March 16 letter “Trouble of her own making” has said, I take it he does not know the feeling of having only one option to try to pull himself out of a dire situation.
Sadly, the option in so many cases is one of the awful payday or auto-title loan businesses. When you are in the place where Jamela Lott was, you don’t think of how you will pay back something later. You can’t stop thinking about the here and now.
I think instead of sounding bitter about her getting help, the letter writer should thank God he has not been in her shoes. Trust me, they are shoes you don’t want to wear.