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Equality in our schools

The recent letter endorsing a voucher system in which taxpayer funds are used for private schools sounds fair on its face, but begs a few questions.

If I am not of the religion endorsed by the private school, is my public tax money used to promote its beliefs not a violation of the Constitution's requirement of the separation of church and state?

If taxpayer funds are diverted to schools provided by the well-to-do for children of the well-to-do, doesn't that take funds away from poor students at the schools deprived of those funds, therefore depriving them of the equal opportunity the author of this letter praises?

Unfortunately, the incredible income inequality our economic system encourages has led to an already-unequal educational system. The solution is not to give more money to the financing of private schools but to alter the financing for public schools.

Students in poor districts suffer from the inequality of the system of financing public schools on the basis of property tax rather than an equal amount for every child enrolled in the public school system. If property values in your neighborhood are high, you get the best education available. If you live in a poor neighborhood, not so much.

In the right buildings, with the right tools and teachers, almost all students can achieve. If schools get the same funding per child to even the scales, everyone wins.

But don't expect any improvement of public schools under President Trump or Betsy DeVos, his head of the Department of Education, champions of voucher systems, both of whom never went to a public school, nor did their children.

Istar Holliday

Arroyo Grande

Trump leads train wreck

The Trump presidency is a catastrophe and we’re not even out of the starting gate.

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There’s no easy way to coat this. Since the get-go, the new president has been a sideshow of national embarrassment and international alarm. It is foolish to believe Trump will get better. That is not going to happen.

However, Trump can do himself, the USA and the rest of the world a huge service by stepping down while there is, maybe, some degree of self-respect and mercy yet possible.

With his current political trajectory diving, except with his most ardent supporters, Trump has shattered his own credibility. The GOP senior leadership must find an honorable way out for Trump — if that is even possible — by providing him plausible cover and a reasonable way to resign. If the president does not resign, impeachment, at the minimum, is best we can hope for.

Regrettably, there is little reason to believe this political nightmare ends well. Trump, given the best of opportunities, will most likely refuse to resign. Shamelessly battering the truth, he will step up his attacks on the media, malign and question the intelligence communities, and relentlessly deny fault or acknowledge responsibility for failures. And then the bad stuff starts.

We will rue the day the United States did not check Trump power when we needed to.

Doug Ludden

Lompoc

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