Florida school system in disrepair, story skewed against Israel

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DeSantis makes teaching in Florida toxic

What a sad state of affairs we have in the Florida school system.

According to the National Education Association, Florida ranks 48th in the nation for average teacher salary and 44th in the nation for per capita student spending.

In February, the Florida Board of Education reported 4,489 teaching vacancies, up 800 from last year.

After:How to send a letter to the editor

Florida teachers can be sued if someone is made uncomfortable by the mention of racial history or for helping a student deal with concerns about gender identity.

Florida has one of the highest death rates in the country due to COVID, but schools were banned from enforcing mask mandates to protect teachers and students.

In March, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill, HB 1467, that makes it easier for parents and others to request a ban on school materials they deem inappropriate.

DeSantis has declared this year “the year of parents”. I wonder if parents and government officials who want to control the school curriculum are considering what toxic environment they are creating for teachers and what caliber of teachers will apply for jobs in Florida in the future.

In the upcoming election, we all need to weigh heavily on whether more DeSantis are in our best interests, and also give more scrutiny to candidates running for school board.

Suzan Lordi, University Park

Political cartoons deserve a place in the press

As a full-time resident of Sarasota, I recognize the need for a viable local newspaper. As a political cartoonist for over 50 years (40 with the Boston Globe), I also appreciate the function of creative, thought-provoking political cartooning, which has been an integral part of American journalism since the days of Thomas Nast (“A new focus for our opinion page – but the same clear mission,” April 24).

The problem is not the cartoons themselves. For the most part, it’s cartoon quality. They don’t make you think and are so poorly designed. In all honesty, I’m embarrassed to tell my neighbors that I’m a political cartoonist.

We live in a time of division, amplified by some media that have abandoned truth as a precondition. Newspapers are the last vestiges of truth.

Historically, most of the newspaper is news and information. The editorial page is a direct and strong opinion and the Op-Ed page is for opposing opinions.

As the late great Tip O’Neill always said, “All politics is local.” What he left out was that even though all senators and members of the House work in Washington, DC, they have a direct effect at the local level. Thus, they must be commented on and caricatured.

Paul Szep, Sarasota

Headline, report showing bias against Israel

On April 23, the Herald-Tribune published a biased AP story about Israel and tagged it with the following biased headline: “Israeli Police Storm Jerusalem Holy Site.”

The article began with Israeli police “in full riot gear” storming the Temple Mount before adding “young Palestinians threw rocks at a gate where they were stationed.”

It is only in the seventh paragraph that we learn that the Palestinians had stored stones to attack the police hours before the cops arrived.

Unless you follow the situation, the average reader sees the headline and the first paragraph and says, “Why are these Israelis attacking Arabs like this?”

The first sentence of the piece deliberately reverses events (which happens regularly with the Associated Press).

Reality? The Palestinians launched a premeditated attack and Israel responded to restore order. Why wasn’t the opening paragraph read that way?

Why didn’t the headline say, “Palestinians Attack Israeli Police at Holy Site”? Why is it written effect, then cause, instead of cause, then effect?

It’s a classic but annoying anti-Israel bias on the part of the PA. The editors of the Herald-Tribune must consider whether they are ready to continue publishing it.

Jody Davis, Nokomis

Don’t Ask Taxpayers to Pay Student Loans

Please, can American voters hold a referendum on whether or not our government should “forgive” student loans?

A student loan, like other loans, is a legal contract. Advice for the future: Don’t sign a contract unless you intend to honor it.

My husband and I both got student loans and repaid them ourselves. We sent our two kids to affordable state colleges where they didn’t have graduate in debt. If they had, they would have do not asked American taxpayers to bail them out.

Young people and parents of young people, please take your own responsibility. Today’s American taxpayers and our future generations are already responsible for a huge and ever-increasing debt. Sufficient!

Julie Gooden, Nokomis

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