Traverse City Record-Eagle

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July 13, 2012

Letters to the editor: 07/13/2012

New way of prioritizing?

I was amazed to read in your paper that the top Republican legislators in Lansing were congratulating themselves on a balanced budget that "prioritized education."

That budget was balanced on the backs of our children and their educational future. Do people realize what $10,000 to $13,000 thousand less per classroom translates into? Most schools operate on a bare-bones budget, and these cuts imposed on them result in major program and personnel changes. Some of our smaller schools have seen losses of entire band, choir, physical education and art programs as well as suffering huge increases in traditional class size. Now local systems are losing bus drivers, cooks and teacher aides.

Is this the new definition for "prioritizing" education among Republican lawmakers? Even with the tiny amount of increased funding for this next school year, school systems have been terribly crippled. And for what? I have not seen any great new hiring or business expansion here in the north despite incentives bought at the expense of our kids and their future.

Joan E. Begeman


Regression, suppression

Recently there have been headlines and articles about free elections in Libya and how people have gone to vote despite much strife. We see this again and again in countries where elections have been rare. Yet, here in the U.S. Republican-led states across the country are passing laws that make voting more difficult for most and impossible for many who are citizens and have every right to cast their ballots.

I am grateful that Gov. Snyder had the courage to veto our state Legislature's most recent excursion into voter suppression. Making it harder to register to vote, making it harder to vote by absentee ballot and making it more difficult once at the polling place is regression as well as suppression.

Ever since our country was founded we have struggled to make voting available to more people. It has been one of our country's triumphs. Suddenly there are Americans in power who do not want people to vote. What does that say about the modern Republican Party or the direction they would lead this country in?

Christine Jaymes

Traverse City

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