YOUR VIEWS Letters to the Editor

Discouraging teachers

June 26, 2014 

Despite what the Sun-Star’s recent editorial “Vergara ruling could loosen unions’ hold” (Perspective, June 12) might suggest, veteran teachers are not to blame for our educational ills. Neither is so-called “tenure.” And neither are teachers’ unions. These three were neatly bundled in your editorial in a way that suggested doing away with all three would cure cancer, hunger and the common cold.

This so-called “fix of our educational ills” will only exacerbate employment problems. It also upends fairness issues. What profession would one embrace if it offered no job security? Why not law firms with no opportunities for “partnership” or corporations with no ladder to move up?

It seems a no-brainer that professions should treat those who have the most experience with respect and due process. Professionals should not have to worry about losing their jobs after dedicating their lives to their work. In addition, the plaintiffs in this case failed to produce a single student who had ever been harmed by any of the teachers who were under the court’s microscope.

After years of massive budget cuts, layoffs, class-size increases, the decimation of school libraries and important programs like Outdoor School and field trips, educators are tired of attacks that “blame teachers first.” If there is any hope of attracting qualified candidates to be the “teachers of tomorrow,” this poor decision best be reversed on appeal.

I should point out that tenure is seldom applied to elementary or high school teachers but is only applicable to those in higher education. Teachers are guaranteed “due process” rights, not “tenure.”

Marc Medefind, Merced

Budget funds abortion providers

It is incredible to learn that the new state budget includes a 40 percent increase in funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. At a time when the state claims it is too poor to fully fund health care for nearly 10 million people, and women are struggling to find providers to give them basic medical care, the state returns a political favor by giving extra money to abortion providers.

Barbara Riis-Christensen, Atwater

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