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[Susan notes: Open letters to polititicos are a way to get the issues before the public.]

Published in Sonoma Index Tribune

To the editor

I offer the following letter sent to our governor:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

State Capitol Building

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-445-2841

Fax: 916-445-4633


Gov. Schwarzenegger,

I am appauled and outraged as I read in my local Sonoma newspaper this week the looming "Worst case scenario" headlines about the proposed budget cuts, which would include after-school athletics and library technicians, and that English curriculum will no longer be designed by teachers to meet students' needs but to meet standards set forth in the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This translates to mean that curriculum will no longer be based on classic literature, which has been a core of English classes for decades, but limited to approved textbooks.

This situation is an insult to students and teachers alike and threatens the very fabric of our society. How can such cuts be associated with a bill called, "No Child Left Behind," when the reality is it leaves all children behind? You have already insulted teachers by proposing performance-based pay, implying that teachers in schools where test scores may be low are not working up to high standards.

This is no way to solve the state's budget crisis, for children without vision, children embittered, students who watch their educational resources evaporate are our state and nation's future! Future what? What education?

Gov. Schwarzenegger, I appeal to your own personal history: Did you not immigrate to this country for the opportunity and vision that it held for you? Please reconsider and reverse this education nightmare!

Pam Burns-Clair, mother, child psychotherapist

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