State adds new level to teachers’ sacrifices
Public schools are making enrollment and budget projections for the 2013-14 school year. Public schools are calculating how many students they are losing to private and charter schools. While hundreds of students are taking their free, unregulated state money and making a dash for the door, our best teachers are heading home worried where they will be teaching next year or whether they will have a job at all.
The teachers union can’t save them from this fiasco. Schools have been told by the state that the seniority of their teachers no longer matters when making staffing decisions. Teachers will be surplused based mainly on their performance evaluations, but according to the state only the teachers achieving the highest scores on their evaluations are eligible to step aside and find a new job. Teachers who score lower marks on their evaluations cannot be moved from their buildings.
This is an injustice on so many levels. In no business-world workplace would senior employees who are highly valued be the first ones ousted, while those performing poorly are guaranteed their jobs. Kids are flocking to private schools on our dime, based on some theory that the education is better. Educators in private and charter schools are generally less qualified and paid less than public school teachers. Private schools are not even required to follow the same rules and standards that public schools are held to.
Stand with your teachers and support them; they have already sacrificed too much.
BENNET ALEXANDER Fort Wayne
Wind farms a subsidy we just can’t afford
The controversy in Wells County about the wisdom of building a new wind farm can easily be settled by asking one simple question: How many would be built were it not for federal, state and/or local subsidies?
If wind farms are economically viable, private investment money will come flooding in. If the answer is that they wouldn’t be built without federal money, then ask why is that and where is the federal government getting the money?
The federal government doesn’t have any money to give anybody without first taking it from someone else. With the U.S. already $17 trillion in debt, the feds are taking the money from your grandkids and great-grandkids.
An equally large issue is where the generated electricity goes. Many electric utilities are being forced to buy this electricity, often at higher prices than they can generate it themselves. They then have to re-sell it, and guess who pays the higher price?
It’s widely accepted now that we have enough of our own oil and gas to last us perhaps 100 to 200 years, not even counting our big chunk of the world’s coal, so why are we spending money we don’t have on wind and solar energy that can’t stand on its own two feet?
If I still had farm land, I’d probably be tempted to have wind turbines too for the rent they’re supposed to pay. But we have to look at the big picture because as a country we simply can’t keep spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need.
KEN SELKING Decatur
JG’s skewed sense of winners, losers
The NRA was listed as a loser in the April 20 Journal Gazette again. Weird. I could have sworn it was the NRA, constitutional rights and reason that carried the day over the president, his compliant media lapdogs and emotional propaganda last week.
Who was it acting like a loser after the Senate failed to pass a single gun-grabbing, Second Amendment-trampling measure last week? The NRA? Nope. It was the president who was whining and stomping his foot like a petulant child because he didn’t get his way.
Ironically, the harder the president tries for a gun ban, the more guns and ammunition fly off gun store shelves. When it comes to the very weapons he would like to ban, the president is, as one gun store owner put it, salesman of the year. Maybe the JG should run him as a winner for that accomplishment in next Saturday’s Weekly Scorecard.
DOUG SCHUMICK Fort Wayne