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Letter: Don't destroy public education, support it

We are part of The Trust Project.

I am writing in response to an op-ed piece by Cal Thomas on Jan. 12 (“School daze in Chicago points to private solution”) that contained more than his usual dose of lies and untruths.

The education “monopoly” that Thomas rails against is public education, free to all, one of the bedrocks of our modern democracy. Public education is a monopoly only in the sense that roads and water supplies and police are monopolies. They are a public good that benefit everyone.

Ultra-right wing reactionaries like Thomas believe that you should have to pay out of pocket individually for everything from education to police patrols. They want education to be Balkanized, to be split into private schools that can discriminate based on wealth, race, gender, or the branch of Christianity to which you belong. These private schools would be free to teach anything they wish about science or the history of the United States.

I attended Catholic schools from grade school through high school. I treasure that experience and education, which included science and history untainted by political ideology. I also recognize the great education my siblings received who chose to attend the public schools. My parents paid for both.

The private schools envisioned by Thomas and his ilk are nothing like the parochial schools of my youth. Do not believe his lies. Do not try to destroy public education. Advocate for improvements.

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Do not attack the teachers and elected board officials doing the best they can to teach and protect all of the children entrusted to their care. Look behind the lies of those who detest public education.

Steven Braun, Rochester

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