From: Pat Maple (e-mail him)
Re: Joe Guzzardi's Column: Lodi School Budget Deficit Tied Directly To Immigration
I spent 14 years on school boards and saw little progress in the language assimilation of many, if not most, of the Hispanic children. The English as a Second Language and English language earner system that is presently used in our school system does not work.
Since the students aren't learning, the answer is to make them pay at least a modest fee to take the burden off the taxpayer. Non-English speaking parents should also be mandated to English classes
The consequences of Hispanic K-12 students not mastering English is dire. In a conversation with a Board member from the Fresno District, he mentioned that the school is being taken over by the state because of so-called fiscal irresponsibility.
In reality, my source identified unfunded mandates like ELL, ESL and other Hispanic related programs such as gang mediation that led to its near bankruptcy. Fresno spent well over $150 million per year educating the Hispanic population. And each year the test scores were worse and the budget crisis deeper.
Talking about getting immigrants out of those ever present shadows is one thing but doing something about it is another. The best way for them to come out is to learn English.
Maple, a roofer, lives in the San Joaquin Valley.
From: Eddie Robinson (e-mail him)
For years Guzzardi earned his living teaching English as a Second Language to immigrants. Now that he is retired and collecting his fat state teacher retirement check, he wants to end ESL programs.
Guzzardi is a racist, a hypocrite and a disgrace.
Joe Guzzardi replies: One of the extraordinary things about being a columnist is the mail that comes across my desk. Often times I have to pause to figure out which column my correspondent is referring to, so little does his letter have in common with what I wrote.
Robinson's letter is one such case. I never wrote that ESL classes should be discontinued. Nor did I propose (although I endorse the concept) that ESL students should pay for their second language instruction—as did letter writer Pat Maple above.
Robinson is wrong in his claim that I omitted Asians. I mentioned Asians but excluded them from my cost analysis because, as I noted, they are for the most part in the U.S. legally; Southeast Asian war refugees and their American-born children.
What my column did is break down the costs of educating Hispanic students, all of whom are in California's schools because of immigration. I left it to the reader to decide if the benefits outweigh the costs.
As for my "fat" check, LOL. I was a non-contracted, non-union, part-time adult school employee, paid by the hour.
From: Robert Murray (e-mail him)
I resent the notion Cleburne presented that America is less wise than the Dominican Republic because we are willing to accept Haitian refugees while it is not.
What Cleburne means is that the United States government, specifically President Barack Obama, is less wise than its citizens.
The question is why does our leadership want more diversity when we already have so much of it?
Murray attended forestry school at the University of Montana (BSF and MSF) and earned a Ph.D. in Plant Ecology at Washington State University. His previous letters about his former Senator Craig and Mike Crapo, hiring foreign-born teachers, Cardinal Roger Mahony and the U.S. immigration crisis are here, here, here and here.
From: Arnold Portocarreo (e-mail him)
Re: Joe Guzzardi's Column: Accentuate The Positive, Eliminate The Negative! Harry Reid, Amnesty Won't Make It
Guzzardi wrote that during his campaign Harry Reid may use pre-recorded endorsements made by the late Senator Ted Kennedy
For Reid's sake, not that I wish him well in any way, I hope Kennedy didn't tape his ad in Spanish. Never in recorded history has a Romance language been so tortured.
I heard Kennedy address a large gathering of illegal aliens at the Los Angeles Community College promising them, falsely as it turned out, that "we are going to win" (Listen here.)
I immediately changed my voter registration to Independent rather than to remain in the same political party with Kennedy who represented everything that is wrong with our political system: elitism, irresponsibility, and a cynical contempt for the nation that gave him and his family so much.
While I don't rejoice in the death of a fellow human being and recognize the loss to his family, Kennedy's passing is a good thing for America in our battle for patriotic immigration reform.
Portocarreo's previous letter about Internet matchmaking is here.