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Letters to the Editors

Raises for all is a bad idea


© St. Petersburg Times
published September 29, 2002

Editor: Having worked in a large school district, I long ago learned that giving across-the-board raises to public school teachers is a waste of taxpayers' money. You simply end up with happier and better-paid bad teachers. This rewards mediocrity.

The poor teachers stay, clinging to their jobs despite the damage they do to children. The good ones still are likely to move on in search of higher wages.

What is needed is strict classroom performance accountability, followed by a highly selective financial incentive to reward excellence.

Across-the-board? Never.
-- Frank Roderus, Spring Hill

Other counties can learn from Hernando's simple voting system

Editor: I congratulate the workers in Hernando County on the efficient way they conducted the primary elections.

I thank God I was born in America where citizens have the right to vote for their leaders. This is a great privilege many countries do not grant to their citizens.

That is why I was so dismayed by the recent voting problems that occurred in the Florida primaries. Apparently, many voters were confused by the intricate voting machines in their districts. There is a pleasant-sounding acronym called "KISS" which covers the subject -- "Keep It Simple Stupid."

When we voted in Hernando County, the polls were open on time. We signed in and were given a folder containing a sheet of paper (ballot) with a list of the candidates. In making your selection, all you had to do was fill in the blank space in front of your candidate with a black marker, which was provided. We then put our ballot back in the folder and deposited the ballot in the sealed ballot box. We received a sticker stating "I Voted." What could be simpler?

Nov. 5 will be here soon, and we will be there at the polls in Hernando County.

Hopefully, other counties will adopt a simpler voting procedure so that they do not have a repeat of the same fiasco in the Nov. 5 election.
-- Dorothy I. Goldschmidt, Spring Hill

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