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Daniels/Bennett agenda still must be thwarted

The battle to protect and save public education continues as the governor and legislators work to expand vouchers through preschool bill House Bill 1004. If this isn’t exposed and stopped, the proposed bill would allow siblings of preschool children receiving a voucher to automatically receive a K-12 voucher without any exposure to or experience in public school. It would cost literally millions to pay for them, and those millions come directly from the public education budget. The biggest benefactors of vouchers are private religious-based schools.

The dual-education system now created is further expanded by the voucher system, and your public school is further handicapped through the loss of the money. Look for increased class sizes, reduction of electives, diminishing services (busing, custodians, maintenance) personal expenditures for extracurricular participation, little or no professional development for teachers, loss of paraprofessionals and more.

The reformers continue to push the Daniels/Bennett agenda regardless of Tony Bennett’s defeat and removal as superintendent of public instruction. Indiana’s voucher program was created by legislators, not by a vote from the people who oppose far more than support it.

Tell your representatives and senators to halt this march against your public schools.

MIKE WALSH Bloomington

Religion no basis for granting asylum

In citing how he and his wife are home schooling their own two sons, Rep. Marlin Stutzman is demanding asylum for a family who left Germany because the nation’s ban on home schooling violated their Christian beliefs.

Why should special treatment be given to someone or some group because of their religious beliefs? Christians, as do Muslims, get their beliefs from a 2,000-year-old book of suppression and myth. If we give Christians special treatment because of their beliefs, we’d have to give all religious extremists special treatment.


Barranda shows care for veterans’ concerns

I am an Army veteran of the Vietnam War who periodically meets with a group of veterans to discuss the trials and tribulations that face our military veterans in getting access to quality health care. I want to thank House District 84 candidate Michael Barranda (and his wife, Lisa) for taking time out of his busy campaign for state representative to meet with our group.

I consider myself one of the healthier ones – lucky enough to help my brothers fight to obtain better health care at our local VA Medical Center. The problems began well before the documented shutdown of services in the fall of 2012.

Our group represents veterans from several different wars, and the list only grows longer as our soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan. So, too, does the backlog for treatment.

I was truly encouraged and inspired by the care that both Barranda and his wife took in learning of our struggles. It means a lot to our local veterans that elected officials take the time to understand our struggles. I hope Barranda can use his office to help further our cause. Our veterans deserve it.