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KEEP BUDGET KNIFE AWAY FROM EDUCATION

KEEP BUDGET KNIFE AWAY FROM EDUCATION

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To the editor: These United States have been reduced to the lowest educational achievement record of any industrialized nation in the world.North Carolina is ranked last in this nation in Scholastic Aptitude Tests and our scores are still falling. So much so that our high school educators have been reduced to virtually teaching crib sheets by rote to their students. Still their budgets are cut under Gov. Jim Martin's reign.

Now I read in the News & Record (May 5) that, after having already slashed the North Carolina Community College system's budget to the bone, the wise governor wants 1 to 5 percent of the money already allotted to each of these community colleges ($180,000 from GTCC alone) to be returned to the state house because his administration made a mistake in their budgeting calculations.

I'm sure this all makes sense to the governor. I'm sure he is following in the footsteps of our ``education president.'

Is there perhaps something Republican administrations have to gain by keeping their constituents ignorant for generations to come?

Glenn Turner Jamestown

Governor Martin's request for budget cuts in education is ludicrous. At a time when the state pales in comparison with other states in the region and in the country (i.e., dead last in SAT scores), at a time when North Carolina ranks highest in infant mortality rate (a result of poor education, no doubt), and at a time when education on an international basis needs investment, not expenditure cuts, the governor's request only amplifies the underlying problem in this state.

The fact is, we just do not spend enough money and focus on quality education from kindergarten through the 12th grade. These budget cuts will be a source of further aggravation and decline in the quality of education for our young people.

There are other ways in which to raise the additional funds needed for a balanced budget. No one suggests increased income taxes, but certainly other tax revenues, which could be spread across the entire population in an equitable fashion, can be found. While this state has had a record of opposition to state lotteries, many states have found this to be an invaluable source of funds needed to invest in the future of the state.

Governor Martin's request for budget cuts is a clear example of talking from two sides of his mouth and shows very poor leadership in an area that requires exceptional leadership.

James M. Hanson High Point

This is an outrage. Our so-called Gov. Jim (ex-teacher) Martin decides we need to cut back on education spending, while at the same time our state ranks very low in SAT scores. Cutting back on education funds will only lessen our state's education and, in the long run, could cause our economic system to deteriorate. We could raise taxes or maybe even have a lottery.

Why does the state say you can't get anywhere without an education when they can't back themselves up? Yes, our representatives have an education, so why don't they use it? We have a right to an education, but good old Jim is denying us one. Ask the schools how they are cutting back: Not having a summer school, cutting down on courses offered, not extending certain teacher contracts, are just a few.

Jason Taylor Eden

The writer is president of Holmes Jr. High School student council.

I am writing about North Carolina's current ``budgetary crisis.' I am amazed by such absurd actions as asking local school systems to return allocated funds with only one month of the school year remaining. There are only two ways to live within your means: You must either cut expenses or increase income. Both require good judgment.

I would urge the politicians to increase revenues. Why are most of them so afraid of the word ``taxes?' Are they more concerned about their own re-election than the welfare of the state? We have heard about the sorry condition of public education, infant mortality, state parks, highways, the environment. We need to commit ourselves to correcting these problems.

Our elected officials need to lead. They chose to run for public office. Now, they need to demonstrate the leadership promised while campaigning. If we invest and spend wisely now, we may give our children the chance for a bright future. If not, we will not only give them our problems with the environment, the deficit and health care, we will limit their ability to solve these problems through their poor education and our poor example.

Ernest L. Schiller Greensboro

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