Readers write: Jan. 20

Coastal residents face a sea change

Your report “Study: Sea level rise accelerating” (News, Jan. 15), is very alarming. The report notes East Coast sea levels are rising faster than the world average. Other investigations have shown the area of undeveloped dry land on the Georgia coast is projected to fall by 8 percent by 2100, while open water could increase by 10 percent. Most owners of coastal property in our state should be worried.

Along the East Coast as a whole, millions of dollars of damage are likely, and millions more will probably have to be targeted to building coastal defenses. The sea-level rise is associated with climate change, which in turn is related to increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Sadly, our Congress continues to ignore this. The establishment of a fee on carbon production, and a return of a dividend to U.S. taxpayers, would be a good way to start combating this sea-level rise and many other costly issues.


Keep elections for state school chief

As a retired teacher, I disagree with the proposed legislation by Rep. Mike Dungeon, R-Johns Creek, to let the governor appoint the state school superintendent rather than maintaining the current system of electing the position. The movement to appoint the school chief, I believe, is the reaction of the Republican establishment to the win by our current school superintendent, Republican Richard Woods.

The party establishment wanted desperately to maintain Common Core and our current system of high-stakes standardized testing. Mr. Woods ran the most amazing grassroots campaign I have ever witnessed, on a platform that was critical of Common Core, teacher evaluations and standardized testing. It is clear that by voting for Woods, Georgians wanted a candidate who would be free to critically examine the educational policies of Georgia, not bound by the dictates of the governor.

The right of citizens to vote for state school superintendent is a fundamental process for our representative democracy and should not be taken away by politicians who do not trust the citizens of Georgia to express their views on educational policy.


Autism bill should get another chance

So the National Federation of Independent Business disapproves of the autism bill and wants it stopped (“Autism bill returns,” Metro, Jan. 15). Just another pesky mandate, they say, in so many words. While it’s nice to see that the sponsor has a big “R” by his name, I wonder, will his party — usually deferential to whatever business wants — have the guts to defy them? To state the obvious, sometimes mandates are necessary: labor laws, environmental rules and racial non-discrimination come to mind. These are properly “mandated” by government. My heart goes out to the affected families, hoping this much-needed change goes through.