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Ferguson Misdirects Blame for Education Woes

May 16, 1993

* Assemblyman Ferguson seems to think that if parents could just change our schools into charter schools, then the school system could provide day care and function as a community center facility.

In fact, many schools already do provide space for day-care programs for which parents must pay to enroll their child. Schools already function as community centers, and the groups that use the facilities can be charged for the custodial costs incurred.

I suppose that public schools could provide day care and help keep kids off the street when parents fail to, for free, but not with the same dollar amount that schools are provided to perform educational tasks. Extra services require extra money.

Further, Assemblyman Ferguson seems to think that we should hire school personnel on "merit" and not insist that teachers have teaching certificates. I find it amusing that he thinks engineers, who are predominantly male, are qualified to teach on "merit alone."

At the same time, teachers, who are predominantly female, must complete five years of college to get a teaching certificate, plus get a master's degree in order not to have their salary frozen, plus, if required to teach limited English-speaking students (and in today's schools who isn't?), the teacher must also get another certificate to be qualified to teach those students as well. After the Legislature has determined that all this is necessary to be qualified to teach, we now have a legislator who wants to lower the standards.

Sounds to me that not only the unions, but parents have a right to fear this kind of thinking.

CAROL HALBACH

Costa Mesa

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