Lopez doesn’t understand our education system
I was appalled by Greg Lopez’s Sunday column about “our most precious resource” mostly because any prospective governor should do his homework better before speaking about the ills of education.
Lopez acknowledges that Colorado schools offer school of choice, a system by which students can attend schools not in their attendance boundaries. However, he proceeds to say that Colorado needs a voucher system to give parents greater voice. That sounds like more bureaucratic red tape and taxpayer dollars to change an already functional system where parents have a voice.
As for his argument that schools should provide vocational training, I couldn’t agree more. Lopez should know that Grand Junction High School, Central High School, and Career Center offer the PTECH program wherein students can simultaneously earn their high school diploma and associate degrees for fire science, veterinary technician, construction and more. Also, students attending any of D51 high schools can take classes through WCCC in programs like automotive and welding. All of this is in addition to the opportunities for college-bound students, including AP diplomas, STEM education and CMU classes on all the high school campuses and at CMU.
I also think it’s important for Lopez to note that I don’t know any high schoolers who learn “how to build a birdhouse” in their shop classes. However, I do know many who are building robots and trebuchets, combining lessons in physics, computer coding and mechanical engineering.
Either D51 is at the forefront of education reform, in which case Lopez should take note, or it’s a microcosm of the state of education in Colorado.
Either way, I don’t want a governor who is going to rail about the problems in education from yesteryear simply to drum up votes and pander to his base. I want a governor who asks why we continue to spend tens of millions on CMAS, PSAT and SAT testing every year when the state has devalued their role in school evaluations and colleges have dropped their SAT testing admissions requirements. I want a governor who examines why teacher retention is so poor. I want a governor who investigates why our state funded university teacher prep programs have trouble recruiting. I want a governor who addresses increasing parental complaints about rampant bullying and the ineffective responses schools have had to them. When I find that governor, I’ll let Lopez know.
Pass legislation that will protect drivers and wildlife
Every year, thousands of Colorado drivers hit Colorado wildlife. Chances are you have a story about your close encounter or collision with animals like mule deer, elk or pronghorn.
The Daily Sentinel’s March 13 reporting on the wildlife-vehicle collision issue, “Bill increases funding to lessen wildlife-vehicle collisions,” did a great job exploring the high costs associated with these collisions. Damage to vehicles, harm to humans and wildlife that can result in medical expenses, long-term health concerns and death to both wildlife and drivers can cost up to $100 million every year.
The story referenced the Colorado Parks and Wildlife statistic that collisions are responsible for more mule deer deaths than hunters in the state. As a hunter, I wanted to add my perspective to this. When a hunter takes a deer, there’s a host of benefits: benefiting conservation efforts by buying hunting licenses, putting food on the table for our family and friends, and creating lifelong memories with our children.
That’s why the bipartisan bill introduced in the Colorado legislature by Sens. Jessie Danielson and Tammy Story and Reps. Perry Will and Julie McCluskie is so important. Senate Bill 151, Safe Crossings for Colorado Wildlife and Motorists, would allocate $25 million — only a quarter of what it costs us every year in collisions — toward efforts to support safer wildlife crossings, including projects like overpasses, underpasses and strategic fencing at hot-spots around the state — techniques that have been proven to reduce collisions across the West. SB 151 is expected to receive its first hearing in the Senate Energy and Transportation Committee the last week of March, and I urge our state legislators to quickly pass this legislation so that Gov. Jared Polis can sign it into law. Our wildlife and our drivers need this help.
Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Chapter Leader
Jails aren’t supposed to be nice places to stay
I am not sorry that Tina Peters had such an awful time while incarcerated for 28 hours. Jails are not meant to be the Hilton. But, you know what they say, “Three hots and a cot.”
The most applicable jailhouse truism in Peter’s case would be “If you can’t do the time then don’t do the crime.”