I read the July 25 letter, headlined “Big gamble,” that grossly misrepresented school funding as it relates to lottery and casino revenues. It doesn’t take much, other than reading the articles cited in the letter, to understand that schools, many still reeling from severe state funding cuts, receive very little from state lottery and casino taxes.
In addition, it has been widely reported that much of the new tax revenues have been claimed by state government for its “rainy day” fund. While I’m sure many are benefiting from gambling, schools are not.
These may be difficult times for Akron schools and taxpayers, but our choice is simple: Do we allow the systematic dismantling of Akron’s educational backbone, or do we rise as one and protect our children’s access to a better future? I choose the latter.
Akron schools have significantly reduced their budgets since 2003, while consistently outperforming other Ohio urban districts in the classroom, a fact validated by conservative and liberal educational advocacy organizations.
The district has earned our support and trust. Ohio’s school funding system is still broken, but the Akron schools are not. Let’s not punish our students for the state’s failure to fix school funding over the past 15 years.
James J. Hardy
Editor’s note: The writer is a former Akron school board member.
Aim to curb gun violence
The genius of America is and always has been to organize efforts and change public policy to restrict lethal behavior. Think of the progress in restricting smoking in public places or curbing drunken driving.
Smoking or drunken driving is not part of the Bill of Rights, as is gun ownership. Yet being part of the Bill of Rights does not mean that sane restrictions should not be put on the purchase and ownership of guns.
The time for a national gun-control program is long overdue and should start now. Once begun, the spirit of zealous effort that is unique to America would bring us to a point of reasonable compromise.
This does not solve the total problem. People who have mental problems should get good care. If both these issues are dealt with together, our society should be safer.
More taxes, less to invest
I keep reading about financial uncertainty in our economy.
It’s very clear that every time a dollar is sucked out of the private sector to fund another local, state or federal program, we have less money to invest in our economy and lives.
When gas prices remain high, I have less money to spend on my family. When taxes increase, for everything from dog tags to the cost of paying for government projects in Iraq, Afghanistan or Timbuktu, we have less to invest.
When taxes strain our pocket books and downgrade our lives, is it any surprise that we are mired in a depression?
Until our elected and appointed officials realize that every penny they spend is someone else’s money, and a sacred trust, and that a tax war on one group of citizens is a war against each of us, our economic future is perilous at best.
It is time to end the politics of division and begin a crusade toward fiscal sanity.
Richard G. Hughes