Letters to the Editor, August 3
Movie, TV incentives worthwhile
John Hood's latest column is entitled, "Credit Claims poorly scripted." In the real world, Mr. Hood should have entitled his column "Credit claims selectively chosen."
One example is the tax incentives for the movie and television industries. Cities, towns and counties benefit from these incentives because the locations have become tourist destinations bringing revenue to hotels, restaurants and touring companies throughout the state. Cuts in tax incentives impact far beyond these industries.
The state legislature, one month after the beginning of the fiscal year, has yet to complete the budget process. Our Republican leadership, instead of completing the budget process, was spending time in Dallas at a convention of an organization that has scripted legislation for most of the Republican legislators throughout the country.
Who knows when the final budget will be approved? Schools and Social Services departments cannot continue to operate in the dark.
The other Will
Recently I asked your paper to "fire George Will." I still stand by that letter, as Mr. Will had just shown an unacceptable level of insensitivity to campus rape victims.
But just this past weekend we saw the other George Will on television. The one who believes America is home to the Statue of Liberty, where a plaque from 1903 reads:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Will mentioned the writer of the above poem, Emma Lazarus. He also said, "The idea that we can’t assimilate these 8-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous."
You got that right, George.
It is my understanding from recent news broadcast and newspaper articles that teacher assistants, now known as instructional assistants, will not receive pay raises this year as teachers do.
Not we are begrudging teachers, for we know they deserved it. We have stood by our teachers in support of all teaching staff to receive a fair wage. We have been on the protest lines as well as on videos of "this is not a raise."
I have been an instructional assistant with special education for 15 years. When I was hired, I came in on grade 6. There are 38 grades you can obtain. After 15 years I'm still on grade 6. We have taken on a lot of teachers’ responsibilities such as lesson plans for individuals with additional needs, planning and implementing job assignments, scheduling and filling out field trip requests, overseeing feeding and toileting issues and contacting parents with concerns.
When teachers are out, we take over the reins of the classroom, as many times a substitute would be lost, especially in a special-needs classroom. We have the same financial obligations to our children and families as well. We need the same groceries, clothing, transportation, medical cost and child care. Do we not deserve a raise as well? We have been working as hard and long as our teachers. Are we not in the same boat?