Letters to the editor — Feb. 3

Parks plan, CATS deserve recognition
I applaud the recent focus by the city in preparation for developing a long-term parks and recreation plan for our community.

Another city owned/operated facility deserving of a long-term plan is public transportation. The present subsidized service, CATS, falls short of meeting many of the needs of this same community.

I realize  that extending hours and days of service would require  additional funding.

That hurdle however does not diminish the need of night-school students, hospital staff, night-time sports enthusiasts, theater goers and many, many others.

George Lees

‘Right to work’ won’t help schools improve
Our governor recently mentioned truancy problems in schools that we need to address. Then in the same speech, she wanted us to become a “right to work” state.

The issues are diametrically opposed.

Poverty is the largest problem facing our public schools. Unions give working people a voice in bargaining for wages and benefits. “Right to work” is basically opposed to labor having a voice at the bargaining table.

Unions have resulted in wages being increased for all, whether union members or not. The war against unions has been ongoing since the 1980s. The increase in inequality has been aided by anti-union laws, which was no accident.

Studies have shown that poverty affects children’s learning in innumerable ways. Not enough to eat, (Republicans cut down on food stamps), homeless, gang violence, unemployment, poor schools being underfunded etc. Poverty is a huge stumbling imposed on them at the start.

The United Nations Children’s Fund report on wellbeing of children covering 35 developed countries  listed the U.S. as being next to the bottom at 34. In 2013, children living in poverty in the U.S. was 22 percent;  New Mexico was at 31 percent.

When Henry Ford started his company, he paid above the going rate and was criticized for it. He said (basically), “If my workers cannot buy them, then who is?”

The basic requirement for a democracy is a well-informed citizenry. We are failing our children that, through no fault of their own, are growing up in poverty.

There is no excuse for a country as rich as ours not to have a quality education for all our children. Our priorities are just way out of kilter.

The answer is addressing poverty, not   charter schools or privatizing education. That has not proven to be any better.

Leon Logan