Letter to editor

Edwards would cement status quo in Statehouse, hurt education

Dear Editor,

As a retired school psychologist, I continue to see Southeastern Ohio teachers spend hundreds of dollars every year on supplies and food for their students. This is like having to bring in napkins and ketchup to your job at Burger World yet it is the norm in our land of Republican schools. Instead of aiding students and educators, Statehouse Republicans have heaped scorn, meaningless paperwork and unnecessary testing — leading talented teachers to drop out to explore career options besides preparing children to become productive citizens. Quality public education — an underpinning of American society and its economy since the 1600s — continues to be eroded by Republican fascination with unproven charter schools, whose proponents continue to fill GOP campaign coffers while benefiting from nonsense special rules that help them profit while dodging meaningful accountability.

Enter Jay Edwards, a Republican candidate for the state House of Representatives, who talks about “more accountability” for charter schools but offers no specifics about what that might mean. If an Ohio student misses a day of public school, the school district is not paid by the state. But Republicans have inexplicably allowed charter schools — many of which are just websites with unproven track records — to report 100 percent attendance and get paid accordingly — using our tax money.

If elected, would Mr. Edwards join Democrats and make charter schools report their attendance or will charters continue to get paid for absentee students even if they hide attendance figures? Will he refuse campaign contributions from charters? Democratic House candidate Sarah Grace has pledged her support for fairly and fully funded public schools and affordable higher education. State Sen. Lou Gentile has also pushed to expand opportunities for higher education.

Electing Sarah Grace to the State House of Representatives and re-electing Lou Gentile for the State Senate will help students and teachers by getting them the resources to create a 21st century workforce and send a strong message to Columbus that Southeast Ohio won’t be taken for granted.

David Gustafson

The Plains, Ohio

Edwards would cement status quo in Statehouse, hurt education