YOUR VIEWS: Education, public safety and politics – The Daily Nonpareil

Selective admission for private schools

With all due respect, I must address the comment made by Jennifer Raes, principal at St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Des Moines. She said, “(Our) school accepts every student it can.” But, she acknowledged the school will turn away some students if it cannot meet the needs they have, like providing a full-time paraeducator…’Sometimes I have to say no. It breaks my heart and it’s a tough conversation.’” (Nonpareil, Aug. 22, 2023)

Yes, it is a tough conversation, and I don’t doubt her sincerity. However, it is a conversation that public schools are not allowed to have. Public schools are required by law to accept students even if they don’t have the funds to meet the needs of those students, like providing a paraeducator. It is equally heartbreaking for them, but they do their best.

With the cuts in public education funding due to the ESA and changes in the funding of supportive services like the Area Education Agencies, the problem will only grow, and it will be heartbreaking and frustrating for our public school educators.

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It seems to me that if public tax dollars are being used, the same standards for admission should apply to both public and private schools.

Watch for people in crosswalks

What is happening in Council Bluffs in regards to crosswalks? I’ve been honked out because I wouldn’t go through a crosswalk when someone was walking in it. I’ve seen drivers nearly hit a walker in several of the crosswalks. I saw a driver hit a man pushing his bicycle in a crosswalk. The driver drove off.

Are crosswalks no longer a safe place in CB? With more walkers and bicyclist during the summer months, it would make sense for drivers to pay more attention to the crosswalks, but drivers blow through them with no care to those walking. I fear for those pushing babies.

GOP should return to roots

The Republican party should remain the party of free speech.

The Republican presidential primary field is growing contentious as the near dozen candidates look to distinguish themselves. Unfortunately, some have seen punishing private businesses as the way forward.

Creating a level playing field by eliminating corporate welfare is all well and good, but when a policymaker urges passage of bills that single out a business — like Florida, with their new Disney monorail bill — it sends a chilling signal to businesses and workers that any public social stance will provoke government consequences.

A Reuters poll recently showed that 73% of respondents — including 63% of Republicans — said they were less likely to support a political candidate who backs laws designed to punish a company for its political or cultural stances.

While this may be seen as an effective strategy to set yourself apart in a large field, it would be a devastating strategy for the GOP in a general election. If Republicans want to clinch success in November 2024, they must return to their roots and support free enterprise.

Candidates should not use government as a weapon to curtail free speech, as Gov. DeSantis is doing in Florida. If Disney can be targeted for exercising free speech, there’s no telling how lawmakers from both parties nationwide will begin to do the same to businesses with far less resources to defend themselves. Beating Biden in 2024 will take a unified Republican party and that means nominating a candidate that supports the private sector.

Iowa benefits from Biden investments

Since the month of August has no major holidays, various societies have created their own “national” holidays. I observed August 8th’s National Happiness Happens Day.

Here’s how you can celebrate, too — not for just one day, but for years to come: Go to the website, where you will see our state lit up like a Christmas tree. Each colorful “bulb” represents a project funded by The American Rescue Plan Act or The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (both of which passed with no help from our Republican congressional delegation).

The 2,953 projects represent over $12 billion invested in mostly transportation, environment, health, education, broadband and child care. The interactive map allows examination of each project in detail, including the county and city of its location, the funding amount and the congressional act making it possible. Note that the map doesn’t yet include funding recipients of the Inflation Reduction Act, again opposed by Iowa’s GOP naysayers.

Want to spread the joy? Post this colorful map on social media and let happiness happen for others — all the way to the 2024 election and beyond. Post a print out on your refrigerator!

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