School Funding

Austin American-Statesman Letters to Editor: May 30, 2021


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On homelessness, we must

face the central problem

Austin isn’t the only city with a homelessness problem. Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and others are also struggling. Is this America now?

Maybe it is time to stop looking for fixes and face the central problem: people simply cannot earn minimum wage, cannot afford health care, cannot afford get help with addiction and mental health issues, can I can’t afford babysitting, can’t afford to go to college to learn a trade or profession.

Meanwhile, people like Zuckerburg, Gates, Bezos, and Buffet are worth billions. Their philanthropy is admirable but does nothing to help struggling Americans.

Our president wants to tackle these issues and has a plan to do so. He simply wants to enable everyone to realize their potential and recognize the value of any job whether it is as a plumber, carpenter or chemical engineer. Please support him in this effort.

Rosayn Curry, Austin

It’s time for Texas to win

user fees on homeschoolers

Re: May 24 comment, “Emotional debate as the Senate proposes a bill allowing home students to participate in UIL activities.

I appreciate Ken Herman’s thoughtful column on the issue of enabling children at home to participate in UIL sports. However, he did not raise the issue of school funding.

It is true that parents of homeschooled and private students pay taxes to support our public schools. However, unless there have been changes that I am not aware of, our school taxes go to the district, not to individual schools.

The district funds these schools in part based on their enrollment. So if homeschooling parents do not enroll their child in the school the child would have attended, that decision affects enrollment and, therefore, school funding.

If the children at home do not pay that specific school to allow their child to participate in sports or other activities, they are the responsibility of the school.

Our lawmakers are now in favor of user fees, while there are user fees for children in the home. Either that or change the way public schools are funded.

Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler, Austin

Charging stations for electric vehicles also

have fossil fuel issues

Re: May 24 article, “Will more chargers lead to more electric vehicle purchases?”

With the exception of one point, it was a very interesting story at the dawn of widespread ownership of electric vehicles. President Joe Biden has proposed making 500,000 charging stations available across the country to keep batteries powered.

He touts electric vehicles as a major way to fight global warming, in part caused by the exhausts of gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines that are still used by most car and truck drivers. The story did not mention that most of these electrical sources of stations will undoubtedly come from power plants that burn natural gas and coal, two fossil fuels also responsible for global warming.

Maybe the answer is more nuclear power plants.

Ron Calhoun, Austin

Editor’s Note: The Ministry of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center has a tool on Electricity Sources and Emissions, https://afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.html. It provides information on sources of electricity by state. According to the tool, the top three energy sources in Texas are natural gas at 52.4%, wind at 19.66% and coal at 16.67%.

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