Letters to the Editor, Feb. 10

Feb. 09, 2014 @ 12:08 PM

Disappointed in DPS

I was disappointed to learn recently that the Durham Public Schools Board of Education decided to join a lawsuit that would prevent working-class parents from participating in the Opportunity Scholarship Program (providing scholarships for their children to attend private school). I find this disappointing because, according to the state Department of Public Instruction, only 22.1 percent of kids from low-income families in Durham County are considered “proficient” in math and reading. This means just over 1 out of 5 economically-disadvantaged students in Durham Public Schools met basic standards in their zoned public school.

 Simply put, the vast majority of our children from low-income communities in Durham County are failing to learn the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing world.  Why then seek to halt a program, that hasn’t even started yet, that is designed to help the student that falls under low-income?

 Our children’s future should not be a right or left issue, or even a public school or private school issue. The real issue should be that our state works to make sure families, regardless of their income or zip code, have a school that will work for their children. Parents do not necessarily care about the make or model of a school (public, nonpublic or charter); they just want a school that works! Our state must start providing quality options for all children - our very future depends upon it.

Darrell Allison

President of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC)

Let fracking begin

Americans recognize the technology is generating tremendous benefits for the economy and the environment.

In a poll conducted by Robert Morris University’s Polling Institute, nearly 74 percent of respondents said new drilling technologies including hydraulic fracturing are leading the United States to energy independence, and more than 80 percent suggested fracking can help the economy.

Fracking also is unleashing huge volumes of clean-burning natural gas, which is supplanting coal and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while posing little or no threat to the environment or drinking water. As former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told Congress, there have been no confirmed cases of drinking water contamination caused by fracturing operations.

Plus, Americans are benefitting financially from increased U.S. natural gas and oil production. According to an IHS economic analysis, the average U.S. household has gained $1,200 in real disposable income due to fracking and the shale energy revolution.

Fracking also is helping our energy security by making the United States the world’s top oil and natural gas producer, surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia. In the past two years alone, it has boosted U.S. liquid energy production, including oil and natural gas liquids, by 27 percent.

Fracking holds the key to harvesting the North Carolina’s energy resources, putting people back to work, and boosting the economy. The time for scare tactics and political posturing is over. Let the fracking begin.

Steven R. Pottle

Raleigh