Mailbag: Vouchers not best way to invest in kids

James P. Gray's comments regarding education success are correct in that parents should participate in educational decisions regarding their children, ("Apply libertarian philosophy to education for success," Independent, Oct. 10).

He is off base, though, in suggesting that vouchers allowing parents to choose their child's school would affect the curriculum choices in public schools.

If vouchers were used to provide education at private schools, the public schools, which educate 90% of the students, would further be subjected to underfunding and less likely to change curriculums. Private and religious schools are not required to observe federal non-discrimination laws, such as Title IX, and students can be rejected based on the school's own admission criteria.

Public funds need to stay in public schools, and in this country we have the choice to have a voice in our public schools.

The "youngsters from lower economic areas" with a voucher would still have to arrange and pay for transportation to a school farther from their residence. So vouchers would not benefit all children equally if they could not afford to travel to the school of their choice.

Parents who participate — going open houses, speaking with the teachers and volunteering on-site — can affect the education of their children. And committees such as school site councils care about input from parents on curriculum.

Karen Jackle

Huntington Beach


Council working to protect residents

The Huntington Beach City Council has had to deal with many hot-button issues this year.

Regardless of where you fall on single-use plastic bags, fireworks, fire rings, downtown disturbances and other issues, we have a council majority that has been willing to take on problems and make decisions with the best interests of the community in mind.

Chief among the council concerns has been avoiding actions that would have a negative effect on residents. For example, it is not anti-growth to hold developers accountable to various planning standards. Everyone should play by the rules, and we must resist putting profits over people in enforcing them.

If the public needs protection, this council majority has stepped up to provide it.

A recent proposed ordinance would prevent the conversion of senior mobile home parks to "all age" or family mobile home parks without a process in place to protect the rights of seniors.

It doesn't prevent conversions from taking place. It simply avoids abuses by park owners (as has happened already). The private property rights of park owners are not being trampled. A fair process is being put in place.

Once more, the council majority has shown its willingness to serve and protect the citizenry, especially a vulnerable constituency like our seniors.

Many can agree or disagree with stances taken by the council, but we all should be able to agree that the current majority is working hard to serve the public interest.

Tim Geddes

Huntington Beach

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