Teacher raises


Are teacher raises in the budget a good precedent?


A note to Gov. DeSantis: Please do some research before thinking about raising the salary of beginning teachers by $10,000. Connecticut did something similar a few years ago and everyone wanted to teach there. How did that help?


I was a teacher. Every May we all got pink slips. Unlike most teachers who can’t do anything else, I was capable of doing several other jobs. None of them paid as much as teaching did. Most beginning teachers could not find a better-paying job. We should not have to worry that one cannot live on that for their lifestyle. Many people live on less.


The beginning salary of some $47,000 is not a bad one. Keeping up with the other states is childish. Keeping up with the Joneses is childish. Compare paying a school board member $38,000 to other states that pay that position nothing.


Perhaps what does need more attention are the teachers who have been at it for a long time and are not making proportionately much more than $47,000.


Also, hiring many more state workers, while the current workers have not received a raise in a while, may not be a good idea.


I believe that mandating the salary of teachers, or of any group, would upset the entire economy of the state and is an unwise precedence.


Where is our conservative Republican governor?


Antionette Kimball, Ocala


The Boy Scouts


I was a Boy Scout. Just an ordinary, everyday Boy Scout like millions of others. And I wasn’t abused.


In that, I guess, I was luckier than many hundreds — and probably thousands — of other Boy Scouts who were attacked, coerced or tricked into sexual situations by adult leaders. Those leaders failed the Scouts in their charge and failed to live up to the Scout oath and law. The organization, the Boy Scouts of America, failed, hideously, to police its ranks of abusers — and sometimes covered up for them.


The fallout is that the organization filed for bankruptcy under the weight of the accusations and the lawsuits from victims and parents.


I was a Boy Scout. Like so many others my age, I joined as a Cub Scout. Later, I put away the Cub Scout blue and traded the kid-type games for Boy Scout khaki, learned to salute with three fingers instead of two, and gathered with my friends in the local elementary school auditorium. We went on camporees and took part in events. I even went to Boy Scout camp for two weeks one summer when I was 12. I exchanged the khaki for Explorer green for a few years.


I learned many things, including self-confidence and field crafts, that I still use. Over the years the Scouts have changed; merit badges stress other, more up-to-date skills. But the Scout oath and law, which I still (mostly) remember, echoes across the decades.


Words like “trustworthy,” “kind” and “moral.” It’s too bad that many Scout leaders and volunteers failed to live it.


Tom Sheridan, Ocala


Joke is on them


It amazes me that the cult of Trump loves him. He insults Gold Star parents and the disabled, lies about nearly everything and is usurping the rule of law at every opportunity.


He fires competent people and replaces them with inadequately trained people who will not protect our laws or our Constitution.


I ponder if the MAGA people will feel the same way about him when their Social Security is cut, their privacy denied and they get nothing from a man who does not pay his bills. I lived in New York and lived through his numerous bankruptcies. He denied pay to most of his contractors.


Most of the people who applaud him would never be allowed at any of his businesses. The joke is on them.


Lynn Miller, Ocala