News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 27, 2013

READERS' FORUM: March 27, 2013

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State should halt voucher program

As your legislators prepare to expand the unnecessary voucher program which will remove at least $21 million from public education funds and funnel 98 percent of it to religious-based schools, I ask why on behalf of the majority of Hoosiers who do not support this.

Public schools constitutionally provide free and open education to all children. Your taxes pay for them. There is nothing in the constitution that calls for using public tax dollars for an alternate exclusionary, separate, private education system.

Money diverted from inner-city failing schools to a voucher program removes more resources for combating the failure factors manifested in the centers of poverty. Struggling schools are being systematically, and it seems almost purposefully, damaged and relegated to continued failure by withdrawing money to support an unneeded voucher program promoted by outside forces intent on privatizing education.

Religious schools are free to teach their beliefs without interference, regardless of your own beliefs and practices. Consider that of the 289 voucher schools, 283 are religious-based and 29 of those are teaching creationism and biblical inerrancy as science. Neither Indiana nor the controversial Common Core being pushed and promoted accept this as a valid standard.

Why would our taxes be used for this divisive program? This isn’t conducive to the democracy that we profess to believe in and which public schools represent. Vouchers wrongly subsidize and benefit a private education system, and that is wrong.

The legislature needs to halt this damaging program which hurts public education.

— Mike Walsh

Bloomington

Muslims should adjust to U.S.

In his letter of March 10, Reggie McConnell writes: “A great number of Muslims appear to be the most bellicose, riotous and easily offended people on earth. Danish cartoons, anyone?”

It appears that instead of teaching the hate-filled ideologies of Jihad and Sharia (which lead to acts of treason such as the Fort Hood and attempted Times Square jihad attacks, and other illegal behavior such as honor killings and wife-beating), American mosques should teach anger management (as suggested by Dr. Elsa Schieder of the Idea Emporium and the World Truth Summit, and the American constitutional ideal of freedom of expression.

This will help American Muslims better adjust to life in the United States.

— Ramachandra B. Abhyankar

Terre Haute