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Published: Wednesday, 3/23/2005

Bush plan improves Head Start

In her March 12 column on education programs, Rose Russell wrote, "Head Start has worked for four decades, but President Bush wants to shift funding for it to cash-strapped states. If that happens, Head Start programs nationwide would close as quickly as dominoes fall." Not true.

What the President is proposing is to allow up to nine states the option of coordinating Head Start programs with state-run preschool programs. Coordination is important. Inefficiencies can and do occur when Head Start is not well coordinated with state-run preschool programs.

Annual self-reporting by Head Start programs reveal that a typical grantee in the middle of its program year is serving only 93.1 percent of the children for which it received federal funding.

Nationally, that amounts to 62,000 Head Start eligible children who never made it into the program due, at least in part, to poor coordination between Head Start and state-run preschool programs.

In addition, in order for a state to be approved for the coordination option, it would have to pledge to continue to serve at least as many Head Start-eligible children as are currently enrolled in Head Start, develop and implement standards that meet or exceed current Head Start standards, maintain existing state funding for preschool programs, and provide comprehensive services, including health, parental, and social services, to children supported with Head Start funds.

Far from closing Head Start classrooms, the President's plan, if approved by Congress, would result in better coordination and more, not fewer, children served.

Wade F. Horn

Assistant Secretary

Administration for

Children and Families

U.S. Department of

Health and Human Services

Washington, D.C.

Rose Russell rightly applauded Upward Bound as a program with four decades of success helping disadvantaged students discover the possibilities inherent in their own abilities. Upward Bound has been a model for other programs that connect civic organizations and leaders with students from challenged backgrounds.

By taking advantage of the willingness of college students to devote time and energy, Upward Bound makes it possible for young people to help other young people grow. Beyond the weekly contact during the school year, Upward Bound offers on-campus summer experiences that further prepare its students.

Upward Bound fosters individual responsibility, encourages self-confidence, and develops the habits of success. Upward Bound is an outstanding example of the power of sustained investment to encourage young people to believe in themselves and to participate effectively in our society.

This is a federal budget investment in the most promising of all opportunities - our young people. It is an investment that helps all of its participants become better citizens.

I know. I am proud to have been an Upward Bound tutor and counselor for two years while attending college.

Hugh Grefe

Sylvania

It has become painfully clear to me, after reading more than I like of Jack Kelly's rants, that in his mind, the enemy is not the terrorists, insurgents, Saddam Hussein, or Osama bin Laden.

No, in Mr. Kelly's point of view, it's the pesky "liberals," who are responsible for all the troubles of the world.

Anyone who disagrees with Mr. Kelly's point of view is labeled a "liberal," as if that's the worst thing in the world. I can't remember the last column written by Jack Kelly that did not include "liberal" bashing!

I only wonder how much longer The Blade will continue to embarrass itself printing Mr. Kelly's liberal-phobic, simpleminded rants?

MICHAEL MASON

South Avenue

As a former employee of Owens-Illinois, I was aghast that O-I would contemplate moving out of Toledo.

This company was formed by the blood, sweat, and tears of dedicated men and women who lived here; it has plants all over the world. The prestige of the beautiful building enhances our downtown and we are proud that the glass industry was born here in Toledo.

I can appreciate that the offer sounds very seductive - Levis Commons is a showy Hollywood-style village-like attraction.

But look at what we have here in Toledo as a great metropolitan setting.

We have the Westfield Shoppingtown at Franklin Park, located in the middle of our city. It has just undergone renovations that have transformed it into a classy and chic shopping mall.

We have an area in the south end part of Toledo that has great potential, Southwyck Shopping Center, now up for sale. We trust Dillard's will stay and invest in renovating this great spot. We need to keep our purchasing power here in the city of Toledo.

We have beautiful parks and two outstanding theaters, the Valentine and the Stranahan, where shows from Broadway can be produced and special events are shown annually.

We have one of the best zoos in the country, and our art museum is known worldwide. It also houses a large display of the beautiful glass crystal which was handmade here in our great city.

As a citizen I would like to know where the City of Toledo would be if we continue to let companies relocate to the suburbs, taking with them needed revenues.

MARY K. FERNER

Glendale Avenue

In my State of the State address earlier this year, I said: "We'll also phase out the tax on equipment and inventories, while protecting schools and local governments from losses for an extended time."

Because of recent misrepresentations and misinterpretations of this statement, I think it is necessary to clarify this very important point.

The plan to hold schools and local governments harmless after phasing out the taxes on equipment and inventories was not just a line in the speech, but also a policy decision reflected in the fiscal year 2006-2007 executive budget, and in HB 66, the biennial budget bill currently being heard in the House.

In fact, our budget, and HB 66, will spend $390 million in state monies over the next two years to compensate local governments and school districts, dollar-for-dollar, for each dollar they stand to lose as the tax on equipment and inventories is phased out.

Bob Taft

Governor

Chet Warren has been the subject of many past and recent articles in The Blade. I have observed Mr. Warren throughout his career as a teacher, associate pastor, and chaplain. These experiences have caused me to question the accusations that have been thrust upon him without any statements or comments from him.

He embodies what it means to be a caring, compassionate person, and priest. Whether it be in responding to a family in crisis or a sick or dying patient, Mr. Warren was always there for the family members. He went above and beyond the norm and truly felt that his vocation was to serve his flock.

Even now, Mr. Warren continues to remember the deceased loved ones of his former flock. Each day he prays for these deceased on their anniversaries and drops a note to family or friend of the loved one.

He has sent his reassuring messages of care and concern for more than 40 years. This man has endured the sticks and stones of many and still shows love, compassion, and concern for all.

J.C. THAYER

Sylvania

Here is a message for Gov. Bob Taft's $5 requirement in order to enjoy a walk, hop, skip, or jump in an Ohio state park:

"Go fly a kite!"

TIM SADOSKI

Elmore, Ohio



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