LETTERS: State budget / Public education / Southington politics / Wallingford Community Theater

LETTERS: State budget / Public education / Southington politics / Wallingford Community Theater


Where’s the budget?


First, let me make this abundantly clear. White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis are among the most sickening and cowardly individuals in our country. Their actions should be denounced wholeheartedly. The events that recently unfolded in Charlottesville, Va., are a stain on the American conscience. However, it seems that Connecticut Democrats have taken advantage of the tragedy that has occurred and are now churning out political rhetoric in an effort to gain more political capital. As of this writing Connecticut is in day 48 without a proper budget. As a result, many crucial services have been cut and some towns even had to push off the start of school. The Republicans in the General Assembly have put forward numerous balanced budgets that do not have numerous taxes on an already overburdened population. Glancing at the Connecticut Democrats’ social media, it is a scarce wasteland of material on how they will solve Connecticut issues, but it is heavily populated with attacks on the President. Every single day now it seems the Connecticut Democrats are staging more political theater instead of working on a budget that doesn’t drive out or harm more residents. Where is our budget?

Garrett Puckett, Wallingford

It’s not that simple


“Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think.” — Albert Einstein.

A recent column stated the problem in our public schools is inadequate parenting caused by socioeconomics in certain cities of our state. This is an oversimplification. As a veteran public high school science teacher with extensive experience in the real world and seven grandchildren, I consider the most important resource we have is our children. There are many problems in our failing education system in every socioeconomic district that go far beyond the family dynamic. I have a firm belief in public school education, but the remedies are complex.

Our society revolves around consumerism, and K-12 education is largely paid lip service. Priorities are skewed as compared to high-achieving countries in places as wide as Finland to Singapore, especially in math and science, crucial subjects for the 21st century. However, we spend more money per student than any other country. What motivates our leaders?

K-12 education does not attract top college graduates. Compare this to the high status and stringent requirements for teachers in top countries. Our student teachers are then trained in “best practices” of teaching, which are mostly “feel-good,” ineffective, and change every few years. Often diversity in America is labeled as a hindrance to achievement, but diversity is undervalued. The morale of our teachers and the motivation of our students is eroding. The emphasis must be on knowing how children actually think and learn. As opposed to placing everybody in a hierarchy, a universal conceptual understanding of human intellectual development applies to every student.

American students score poorly on international tests. A completely different approach than the one we throw our money at today is imperative. I hope we have the will to make the correction.

Robert Bellard, Wallingford

The Roman Empire?


1. Extensive military conflicts; 2. civil unrest; 3. inept emperors. Sound familiar?

Jack Herrle, Meriden

Solutions needed


I have known Jack Perry for over 10 years now and have always been impressed with his unwavering commitment to hard work, loyalty to family, and charitable nature in giving to community and causes. In running for a seat on the Southington Town Council as an independent, we have an opportunity for someone to tackle the issues in a bipartisan way, benefiting ALL Southington residents, regardless of party affiliation.

One major problem plaguing our national, state and local governments today is the “to the victors go the spoils“ mentality. Elections should not have consequences, just solutions!

Marie Stackpole, Southington

Superb job by WCT


Congratulations and thank you to Mary Kingsland-Eckels and everyone involved in the Wallingford Community Theater’s recent performances! Every part of the production was excellent and fun to watch! The speaking actors, singing soloists, and dancers did superb jobs with their parts. I was truly impressed, however, by the chorus singers — everyone on key and intelligible, which is very hard to accomplish with large numbers of people, especially when the majority of them are children! The directors, cast, and crew obviously worked very hard to achieve such a high level of quality! Kudos, congratulations, and thanks to all of you!

David Andrews, Wallingford

Thank state employees


We all should thank Democratic legislators and state employees for agreeing to an extensive package of concessions, which will provide over $1.5 billion in savings in the next two years. State workers voluntarily gave up an average of $17,500 each, a far greater sacrifice than anyone else will be making.

Some critics of the agreement want to inflict still more pain upon state workers. But Connecticut’s unfunded pension obligations, a significant factor in the current budget crisis, are not their fault. The problem arose from decades of state government deferring contributions when they were due — especially during the Rowland-Rell years. And despite a media focus on large pension benefits for a privileged few, the reality is that the average rank-and-file state retiree pension is $30,000.

State employee concessions represent a sacrifice made by predominantly middle-class families. State employee pensions allow a modest retirement above the poverty level. Rather than demonizing those in public service, we should be fighting for decent wages and a dignified retirement for all, no matter where we work.

Madeline Gallagher, Meriden

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