Letters: Dallas ISD, Gov. Greg Abbott, Evangelism, Vaccinations, Confederate Icons

Businesses invest in DISD"Follow the money. They are privatizing public education. They're only doing this to make money off our kids." We all hear about this underworld of the business community that is supposedly trying to buy our public education system. My wife is one of countless volunteers in the reform efforts in Dallas ISD with ties to "big business," and this question constantly trails her efforts and the efforts of her fellow volunteers. Even if some people refuse to believe it, many of us are involved because we care about kids.It is also true that some of us in business who are investing in schools expect a return. We are putting our time and money into DISD board of trustee races because we know the district needs leaders who understand the big picture and who will support the best policies to provide our businesses a capable workforce in the future.My company, Cummings Electrical, is a P-Tech Industry Partner with Dallas ISD at Hillcrest High School. As an industry partner, we invest our time in training these students to help provide the academic, technical and workplace skills that we want to see in future employees.Like hundreds of other businesses involved with DISD, our goal is simple: We prosper when we have an educated, capable, homegrown workforce. The investment today will pay dividends over the next 30 years when our next generation of business leaders emerges from the 160,000 kids in DISD today. There are highly paid, challenging and rewarding jobs that are waiting for these students; they just need to be ready to take them.If you can't believe business leaders and volunteers are interested in DISD just to help the kids, then just "follow the money." Because here is where it ends: Our business community wants those kids to be ready to help us grow and prosper, and we are willing to invest heavily in that future. If that is an ulterior motive, then I guess we've been caught.Ryan Windham, DallasAbbott's promises are emptyAlmost six months ago, Gov. Greg Abbott told this newspaper that Texas (i.e. his administration) would begin changing regulations in anticipation of the judiciary striking down the Affordable Care Act. The legislative session is nearly over, and Abbott's party is showboating with bills to prove that they are for the Confederacy and against sin. On health care and the protection people with pre-existing conditions? Zilch, nada, nothing. Statues of long-dead secessionists clearly worry the Texas GOP more than hundreds of thousands of living Texans. I hope your newspaper will remind the governor and his party of their empty promises. Sumit Guha, AustinMy definition of pro-lifeRe: "Meet pregnant woman 'at her point of need' — Here's why Southern Baptist pastor opposes a Texas bill to imprison women who receive abortions," Monday Viewpoints.The opinion stated by Pastor Jack Graham regarding a recent bill that would attempt to criminalize and punish women who have abortions was well stated and I believe showed compassion for both the mother and the unborn. As he became the recipient of those who call themselves "evangelical Christians" advising him to repent on his viewpoint, I believe the use of the term "evangelical" has unfortunately been hijacked by those who are of one political persuasion and now has the connotations of mean-spirited among many. The issue of abortion is about life and death no matter how you term your faith or what faith you claim. As a Christian, I believe in the sanctity and protection of life from womb to tomb, and that is my definition of being pro-life.Liz Moore, North DallasDoes lawmaker want Dark Ages?Re: "Talking Points," Sunday Points.This news item in the Sunday Dallas Morning News stated that Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, had told Dr. Peter Hotez, a pediatrician and expert on infectious diseases and an advocate for vaccinations, to "make the case for your 'sorcery' to consumers on your own dime." Stickland went on to tell Hotez to mind his own business. This truly is a case of an idiocy in which the lowest common denominator represents an electorate that is too uncaring or uninformed to elect those who can ably represent them. Sadly this anti-science position seems to be concentrated in the GOP as evidenced by state and national priorities and positions by a party that seems enthusiastic to return to the good old days of the Dark Ages. Is Stickland eager to return to an era in which infectious diseases ran rampant, decimating large portions of the population?James E. Wells, IrvingTreasonous? That's twaddleRe: "Confederate icons were treasonous," by James Cuny, Monday Letters.I cannot imagine the publishing of such twaddle as this letter to the editor saying Confederate icons were treasonous. Cuny should study history before he makes such inflammatory statements. The leaders of the Confederacy did not attempt to overthrow the U.S. government. They exercised their U.S. constitutional right to secede from that government. Any serious history student understands this. Soldiers under the grade of brigadier general or naval rank of captain were pardoned at the end of the war if they took the oath of allegiance. High ranking officers, executive officers, department heads, diplomats, governors of the seceded states and citizens worth over $20,000 all had to apply personally for pardons from President Andrew Johnson. Most of the monuments were erected during the 1890s and early 1900s by the United Daughters of the Confederacy who were honoring their fathers, brothers, uncles who fought and those who died for what they believed were the rights of the states. My great-grandfather, who volunteered to serve in the Confederacy for three years and was a ragged and hungry soldier in Granbury's brigade, never owned a slave.Jean Ann Ables-Flatt, Dallas/Preston Hollow  Continue reading...

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