Letters To The Editor 4/11/2019

April 11, 2019

Assure access

for preschoolers

Editor: The value of preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds cannot be overstated. It is a tremendous service to our entire community and the fact that the Scranton School District was able to maintain it during a fiscal crisis is commendable.

It also is encouraging to know that district administrators plan to make certain of federal compliance. Registration has begun and applications can be printed on the district’s website. Registration ends May 1.

Considering that upward of 400 students need to register I feel there are additional steps the district needs to take to ensure people are aware of and can take advantage of this public benefit.

First, district officials should communicate clearly through various media that registration also is available during school business hours at the administration building. They should communicate the fact that they have computers available at the administration building in order for people to register. The website does not seem to do so, nor will all eligible people have access to the internet.

Next, the district should ensure that applications are available in additional languages. The district proudly touts that it educates students from as many as 26 countries, yet the application only seems to be available in English and Spanish.

Finally, the district should partner with all religious organizations, day care centers, Head Start programs and any relevant community entities to make certain anyone eligible is aware of and able to utilize this benefit.

Maintaining this benefit is commendable. Ensuring federal compliance should be the minimum standard. Making sure all children entitled to it under the federal guidelines are able to register for it easily through parents or guardians should be the goal.




Students matter;

keep Morris open

Editor: We can debate solutions and point fingers on issues regarding the Scranton School District and its budgeting or we can inform local legislators of their need to support funding to meet the needs for students.

People feel bad for Scranton residents with children in Scranton public schools, but my experience is much different. People should contact their state legislators to let them know Scranton students matter. The support the students need goes beyond Scranton’s boundaries. Public education is vital to strong communities. It is about the development of each child to the fullest extent, it’s about community, democracy and civility.

I am a product of Scranton schools and am proud of my educational and social experiences as a student. It prepared me for college, graduate school and life. I have a career in social services and love serving the diverse residents of Lackawanna County. I chose to buy a home in Scranton and send my three children to school in Scranton. My children attend Robert Morris Elementary School and consider themselves lucky to be students there. They would not trade it for the world.

They all have attended school there since prekindergarten, which was the best start to an education I could ask for. The pre-kindergarten program should not be cut. I bring my children to school every day. The principal meets every student and parent outside the school daily. Teachers and staff are like family and take a vested interest in students. The PTA is involved and works hard to give every student opportunities. I have met the best families and my children have made irreplaceable friends through this school.

Robert Morris is a Blue Ribbon school and the fact that it may be closed is scary. The students do not deserve cuts and the taxpayers do not deserve a tax increase, so please advocate for funding levels equal to the growing needs of our students.




No firearms bans

Editor: An editorial concerning the New Zealand government moving to ban semiautomatic rifles (“New Zealand gets it right,” March 22) states; “Unlike the U.S. New Zealand does not have a constitutional right to bear arms. But, the U.S. Congress has wide latitude to ban certain weapons.”

Considering that we are discussing semiautomatic firearms where, specifically, do you find the “wide latitude” for Congress to ban weapons? The Second Amendment was added to the Constitution precisely so Congress would not have wide latitude to ban guns or other weapons. Hence, the phrasing “. . . right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Surely, a ban on any type of firearm is an infringement. Even fully automatic firearms are not banned in the United States, though restrictions on them constitute an infringement, a matter working its way through the federal courts.

A constitutional amendment banned alcohol and unlike firearms, alcohol did not have a specific protection in the Constitution. Thus, short of another amendment, where does authority to ban weapons come from? Why is no such amendment proposed in the current or recent Congresses?