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[Susan notes: It is good to see the military provisions of NCLB getting attention.]

Published in Montana Standard

To the editor

Time to wise up The recently implemented "No Child Left Behind Act" is a curious place to find a mandatory law requiring schools to notify the Armed Services of the names, addresses and phone numbers of all juniors and seniors, males and females.

We are informed that if the schools do not comply, they will lose their federal funding. This is a fact, found in Section 9528 on pages 559 and 560 (a) (1). What we are not readily informed of is another fact found in the next sentence, (a) (2) a parent may request that their child's information not be released without their consent.

Another presumed mandatory requirement is that all juniors are required to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.

This is a military test, administered by the military, for use in recruiting. Once again, what is not commonly known is, as a parent, you have the right for your child to "opt-out" of taking this test. In both of these situations, all the parent or student has to do is fill out an opt-out form from the school.

These choices should be more clearly defined or publicized by the military. The government that requires the lives of our sons and daughters to carry out a foreign policy that is creating more terrorists than it is killing, is the same government that knows it needs to recruit them before they wise up and ask "Just exactly what is it we are fighting for?" The official answer from our president to that question has changed three times since the war began.

The "War on Terror" is one thing, but it has become an alibi for abuse of power by this administration in both foreign and domestic policy. We all need to wise up.

Ben Knobel Conrad Guard needed at home Let's all hope that the pending fire season is not as dire as predictions and conditions suggest. While we are hoping, let's prepare in case it is that bad. That seems to be the thought of Gov. Schweitzer.

The Republicans on the other hand, feel Schweitzer is somehow bashing our president by asking that Montana have its 3,500 or so National Guard members actually in Montana to help with needed fire suppression.

Although in my opinion Bush is certainly deserving of more than a little bashing, I doubt that is what Schweitzer had in mind.

Still, when Montana's Republican leadership is not busy denying Montana workers a pay raise, or refusing to give Montana workers a break, they seem to have nothing else to do but a bit of their own bashing of our own governor.

Currently about 1,500 of Montana's National Guard men and women are deployed in Iraq, worse yet the helicopters which have in the past played such a vital role in fighting fires are not available, because either the helicopter or the pilot is currently serving elsewhere.

Gov. Schweitzer has enough foresight to begin planning for what could be the worst fire season in years.

To our senator from Bigfork and the rest of the Republican leadership, shame on you! Please put aside your next election plans long enough to at least feign an interest in Montana's future.

Shannon Hanson Whitefish

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