Only some are making do with less
Re "House passes measure to avert government shutdown," March 2
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is quoted as saying, "If American families can do with less, there is no reason why the government cannot do with less."
Why, then, are the cuts proposed by the GOP aimed at education and aid to cities, including funds for public safety, Head Start, Medicaid and so on? If American families are already doing with less, why are these proposals asking us to do with even less?
I see nothing in the Republican proposals that asks the wealthiest Americans to do with less or pay even slightly more in taxes. Republicans' proposals to increase the sacrifices made by "American families" are only aimed at middle- and lower-income families, who are already sacrificing the most.
Cheating schools can't be tolerated
Re "Six schools that cheated to be closed," March 1
Cheating is unacceptable and inexcusable in any school, and the California Charter Schools Assn. is in complete support of the Los Angeles Board of Education's decision.
In fact, the CCSA is taking the lead in increasing academic accountability for schools. Last month, we issued our first "Portrait of the Movement" report, analyzing the performance of all charter schools in California and highlighting schools that are posting phenomenal results, as well as those with unacceptably low scores.
To that end, we also commend the L.A. board for voting to close Cornerstone Prep School in Florence, one of 33 schools we identified as having persistently low academic performance.
The CCSA does not support charter renewals for schools that do not deliver on the promise of a high-quality education. We look forward to working with the L.A. Unified School District to hold all public schools to the highest ethical standards.
The writer is president and chief executive of the California Charter Schools Assn.
The Board of Education is to be congratulated for overriding the staff recommendation of a whitewash for the Crescendo charter organization. Such a staff recommendation is a clear indication of the rot within the administration.
Since when is an experienced educator given a pass for cheating?
Community college waste
Re "Waste throws wrench into massive project," Feb. 27
I applaud The Times' look at mismanagement in the Los Angeles Community College District's bond program. However, I take exception to the district's scapegoating of Morillo Construction.
Morillo was terminated not for "cause" but "convenience" — at no fault of the contractor. Our record shows approved inspections and successful test results inspected and monitored by the Division of the State Architect, an LACCD project manager and the architect and its consultants.
When we left, there was no legitimate reason for the cost increases LACCD incurred. After removal of the prime contractor, LACCD could have required the subcontractors to finish at no additional cost. Why it spent millions more on a new contractor, using many of the same subcontractors, is worthy of additional investigation.
Antoine B. Morillo
The writer is president of Morillo Construction Inc.
I am stunned at the amount of money wasted on the construction of new facilities. The main problem is a lack of accountability for public institutions. Executives do not have clear, measurable goals, and if they fail, rarely are there serious consequences.
Not only do we need clear goals for the executives, we need a board that is willing to penalize executives who don't meet goals by terminating or reassigning them.
Abuse of power. Nepotism. Self-aggrandizement. Sadly, these words are not describing Libya or Egypt but our own L.A. Community College District.
Bravo to The Times for exposing this corruption.
Down on DWP
Re "DWP needs a way to guide customers through its red tape," Business, March 1
We learned this the hard way after installing solar panels. We make more energy that we use. The Department of Water and Power calculated how much energy our system would produce and installed a meter. We received bills for electricity that our own panels made.
We have spent hours calling, e-mailing or talking with someone who transfered us to another voicemail. Finally, a "supervisor" told us there was a "quirk in the system." The electricity we generate is applied to only one-third of the bill. He said we should have a meter that counts all of our own electricity for our bill and that we'd be on the top of the list for a replacement.
We have heard nothing about the new meter. We want to be "green" but are being stonewalled by the DWP. Yes, a ratepayers advocate is needed.
Susan R. Young
Re "Movie math," Opinion, March 1
Michael Kinsley says there are no huge factories for the movie industry.