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Education is the engine of our success

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Pay now or pay a lot later. Some of us may remember the old advertisement about motor oil. Check your oil and change it when needed or, at a much greater expense, replace your engine. Public education is the engine of our success as a society. Now we may have to shorten an already too short school year and day and continue cutting the funding of our schools and colleges. What other profession has to hold bake sales, car washes and in other ways beg for help with supplies for basic needs? We not only import most of what we wear and use but now we are having to import the professionals with the education that we couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for ourselves. Let’s look long term in our next election and elect people who are willing to find ways to support our public schools and colleges. One of our presidential candidates suggests that teachers’ unions are the problem with education. While I do believe we have problems, I don’t believe that teachers’ unions are responsible for shortening the school year, week and/or day and cutting funding for supplies. How many talented young people choose other professions when, after five years of college, they find that unskilled labor workers are earning more than teachers? Are we to become just a consumer nation expecting immigrants to do our work, both skilled and unskilled? And, can we survive as a great nation if we do? Jim McDonald, retired educator, Lincoln