Placing responsibility for transportation to and from the community college on the public schools is not a good option right now. Transportation for students to the community college must compete with moving children to and from school, curriculum based enrichment programs and after school programs. There just aren't enough public school dollars available to ensure all children who qualify are transported to the community college.
The proposal to "stop offering all Advanced Placement courses" is certainly a unique approach, but fails to consider the broad impact of AP courses. In the same spirit that AP program students are challenged to work hard and think outside the box, AP program teachers are challenged to complete training specific to advance placement courses in order to instruct the classes.
The incalculable benefit to the entire public school system is that the knowledge and experience gained by the teachers and students carries over into all that they do. Students in non-AP courses, parents and administrators benefit from the enhanced depth and breathe of AP level studies.
Most importantly, it's all about the children. We need to make sure the right amount of knowledge, is in the right place, at the right time to make sure every child achieves his or her potential.
Ruth Anne Callaham
Flexible spending for child welfare
To the editor:
In a recent article, Kristin Wilson provided helpful information on identifying and preventing child abuse. ("What constitutes child abuse and neglect," April 14) Given your paper's focus on this issue, I thought your readers would be interested to learn of the Bush Administration's efforts to help prevent child abuse and neglect around the nation.
Since President Bush was elected to office, funding for child welfare programs has increased by $164 million annually, much of which can be used to fund child abuse prevention activities.
But success also depends on how money is used. That's why the president has submitted a proposal to Congress to increase states' flexibility and curtail the limiting rigidity of the current funding structure for child welfare in states such as Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Under the proposal, states could use federal foster care funds not only for supporting children in out-of-home care, but also for child abuse prevention, reunification efforts and post-adoption services.
In this flexible system, a state could try approaches to child welfare that meet the needs of that state's citizens. In taking an approach tailored for the needs of their citizens, states could be better able to prevent child abuse and ensure more children are in safe and loving homes.
Wade F. Horn, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Time for a new direction
To the editor:
Just do it! Put price controls on gasoline. Impeach Bush and Cheney. Pass ethics reform that has real meaning.
Get the troops out of Iraq. Don't nuke Iran. Get the proper help to New Orleans Katrian victims. Fire Chernoff and replace FEMA with an agency that can get the job done.
Pass legislation that will not, as Republicans like to claim, raise taxes - just get rid of the tax cuts for the wealthy. I could go on for pages but you get my drift.
Mary Lee Scalf
Falling Waters, W.Va.
Due to an error by the editorial page editor, Bob Maginnis' May 3 column mistakenly said that the Washington County Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of a $150 tax rebate. Actually, the vote was unanimous.
The Herald-Mail apologizes for the error.