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After-School Proposal: Helpful or Harmful?

October 21, 2002

I have just read "No on After-School Plan," your Oct. 17 editorial on Proposition 49, sponsored by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I cannot help but think that your "no" recommendation for the afternoon kids' programs put forth on this ballot initiative was because of the possibility that Schwarzenegger (who is Republican) may run for governor in the next election if Bill Simon does not win.

If this proposition was proposed from one who is of the liberal side, I don't think this editorial would have been written. Since when does The Times speak out against liberals who want to spend the taxpayers' money and think the voters should vote for kids? The November ballot is filled with bond measures that are not what they seem and will do nothing but burden the voter financially for years to come.

Marlene Walker

Glendale

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I want to applaud your position on Proposition 49. I have administered child-care and after-school programs for over 20 years and care deeply about the availability of these programs. I agree that Proposition 49 does not do what families and children will need; in fact, it could hurt more children than it helps.

By taking mandated funds from the general fund, Proposition 49 is likely to draw funding away from child care for the very young -- health care and other social services that children need. Proposition 49 sounds good on the surface, but it would be a shame if voters support it without knowing the facts.

Lisa Duncan-Purcell

Bakersfield

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