Not Sympathetic

How wonderful that the Escobedos would come to the United States five years ago and get a free college education for five of their eight children ("Success Story Clouded by Plans to Cut Student Aid," Times, March 3). Now we are asked to sympathize with the possibility that the same free education won't be possible for the other three. I can't do it.

I have limited my family to three daughters who get what they (and we) earn--no college grants--and I have limited compassion for the Escobedos' plight. I imagine that with such a large family, the Escobedos pay no income tax. I pay. My taxes, which I've been paying for over 30 years, in fact, pay for the Escobedo boys' education. I confess to being just a tad resentful of that.

I'm a firm believer that education raises the level of society to the benefit of all--but particularly of those educated. So it seems only fair that the older boys, as they finish their education, should pitch in to help their younger brothers. And if Mrs. Escobedo doesn't work outside her home, now is the ideal time to start.

It would be great if California still provided a free college education for its citizens, but the taxpayers have said no to that as well as to other "frills." I regret it, but that's reality and we must live with it. That's why I've been a working mother for 15 years, after being permitted the luxury of being home with my girls for eight years. That's why my husband and I save every cent we can get our hands on, to provide for our children and for ourselves in our old age so that neither our children nor the State of California will have to do so.

I'm proud of being self-sufficient, and recommend it to one and all.

CATHERINE A. STROHLEIN

San Diego

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