Letters to the Editor

1/24 Letters: Bob Orr’s comparison of Farr’s situation to Garland’s is ‘false equivalency’

In “Stop blocking judges for ideological reasons” (Jan. 21), Bob Orr makes an excellent point that judicial appointments should not be blocked for solely ideological reasons. He cites several instances where this has occurred at the hands of both parties, including the blocking of Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

The false equivalency is that Garland was a moderate choice, whereas Tom Farr, proposed by President Trump, is at an ideological extreme. If gridlock is to abate, each party must accord respect to the other.

For the past two years, the Republicans have been playing total hardball. Not only was Garland blocked, Democrats were totally excluded from the legislative process on changes in the Affordable Care Act and the tax code. You reap what you sow. A moderate nominee would be a significant step in the right direction.

James Hugenschmidt

Asheville

Cost ‘too high’

North Carolina slips in national ranking on public education” (Jan. 19) reminded me of why PTA members, parents, teachers and community members across our state must continue to fight for full funding of our public schools. The PTA mission is to speak with one voice for every child.

For months, we have been advocating and educating others about the impending K-3 class-size mandate. PTA supports lower class sizes, but without the funding to hire additional teachers and to build the infrastructure needed to house additional classrooms, the mandate will only hurt our state’s children.

I fear that our national ranking will slip even further after the devastating effects of the mandate implementation are felt statewide – the loss of art, PE and music teachers, the overcrowding of fourth and fifth grade classrooms, and the potential elimination of needed pre-K programming.

The lack of funding for the mandate and the overall decline in education funding from the state legislature both have dire consequences that will adversely affect students, diminish their educational experience and negatively affect their learning environments. The costs are simply too high for our children.

Julie von Haefen

President, Wake County PTA Council

Work across aisle

Regarding “Congress approves deal to reopen government” (Jan, 23): I want to commend the senators, from both parties, who worked together to end the government shutdown.

And I question why our senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, were not part of this bipartisan effort. North Carolina is a purple swing state. Half of their constituents are not Republican. And most of their constituents expect them to work across the aisle.

The senators who collaborated have found a temporary solution. I hope our senators will get involved in the bipartisan efforts to create a long-term solution so that we don’t have another government shutdown.

It’s important. After all, the U.S. Senate is currently as purple as North Carolina.

Kathy Repass

Cary

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