3/30 Readers write

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Vouchers not the answer for student success

I have just finished reading a news story about school vouchers. Two different professors gave completely differing opinions regarding the long-term help to students in poorer school districts.

The premise is the vouchers can allow some of these students to attend a private school or be homeschooled. But the money for that student is then taken away from the already failing school. Actually, more money is taken away from the school than the voucher is worth, so the state gains financially.

What about parents who would take their child out of school, say they were homeschooling, and then use the money for themselves? And how many state legislators have children in private schools and would benefit from vouchers?

Georgia should be investing more in its schools and teachers, not fighting over vouchers that might help only a given few. The lower-performing schools should actually be getting more funding per student.

The billions of dollars we keep hearing about in the state’s coffers would be a good place to start.


Learn to listen. It builds friendships

Scientists for years have known those with friends seem to live longer than loners.

Some folks today associate only with those who share their religious or political views. Such “silo” or “tribal” relationships might be confining for some thoughtful individuals.

A favorite uncle had lots of friends. He was a business leader, former Army officer, Rotary president and a smart guy with a great sense of humor. He listened to a person’s comment and responded, “So that’s how you feel!” That response does not take sides, shows the speaker you were listening and lets him be heard. It does not challenge, confront, or alienate him but lets him speak his mind.

People want to be heard. Regardless of your agreement or not, it helps build goodwill and better friendships, a nice goal for us all.

Maybe one day others will be as wise as we think we are.