Letters to the Editor

Mark Johnson: Here’s why I disagree with the state Board of Education

Fighting education bureaucracy

The writer is state superintendent of schools.

I often disagree with the N.C. Board of Education, especially when they prioritize bureaucracy over classrooms. In 2016, my predecessor chose to use the State Superintendent’s operating budget for sponsoring conferences and paying for meals for hundreds of attendees. In 2017, the Board of Education, which sued to try to keep control of the state education agency, used $380,000 to pay for lawyers in courtrooms rather than resources in classrooms.

They have their priorities, and I have mine.

I travel the state often to avoid becoming yet another Raleigh insider who never meets face-to-face with constituents. I frequently hear about the delay in response time caused by bureaucracy. I also get to see firsthand how N.C. teachers make use of iPads to help provide better, personalized opportunities for students.

Supt. Mark Johnson.jpg
Mark Johnson

In 2019, my team and I made operations at DPI more efficient and, consequently, had money in the budget at the end of the fiscal year. We decided to use those funds to directly support classrooms.

I ran for office to be an agent of change. I knew that meant establishment insiders and media elites would never like me. But I work for the people of North Carolina.

Mark Johnson, Raleigh

Decision to pull out will reverberate

Regarding “Turkish airstrikes target Kurdish fighters in Syria after US troop pullout” (Oct. 9):.

This president has made us complicit in a potential genocide of an ally.

What a terrible burden of guilt he has placed on our military, which has been ordered to “stand back” on the actions against the Kurds who have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us these past five years.

The impact of this outrageous decision will be felt by us all for years to come. Pray for the Kurds.

Donna Sullivan, Indian Land

Graham must push Trump on Kurds

Franklin Graham is asking donors to send money to help distribute Bibles and the message of hope to the Kurds.

Graham is a key Trump backer. He needs to get all Christian leaders to show Trump we can’t evangelize Kurds then bring/invite people in to kill them. Trump is no Christian if he won’t listen to Graham on this.

No one should use Jesus’ name and then allow those people to be slaughtered. It’s unconscionable.

Katherine Nelson, Charlotte

Hypocrisy runs rampant in NBA

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Rick Poe

The NBA said to North Carolina: We can’t hold our showcase event (All-Star game) in your state because you don’t respect the rights of citizens to use the restroom of the gender they identify with.

But, on China the NBA said: Well, we know China does not share our values of free speech and assembly, but hey, the culture is different and we need to respect the differences and not be quick to impose our values upon another culture — especially a country that pours billions into NBA coffers each year.

Let’s be honest, NBA. You’ll stand on principle and moral high ground until it starts to affect your pocketbook. Then, the moral high ground quickly sinks.

Rick Poe, Charlotte

All wrong about Medicaid expansion

Sen. Jim Perry can’t have it both ways. (Oct. 10 Op-ed) The opponents of Medicaid expansion claim it is not needed to ensure all citizens access to health care, but then decry that expanding Medicaid will overwhelm the primary care capability.

If we are short primary care providers maybe it is because we are forcing them to care for hundreds of thousands of our neighbors not covered by either insurance or Medicaid.

Regardless, providing access to some by denying access to others is abhorrent and demonstrates that Perry doesn’t try to represent all of his constituents.

Dr. Stephen Valder, Charlotte

CMPD isn’t to blame on crime issue

Regarding “City has a serious crime problem,” (Oct. 10 Forum):

CMPD is working with a shortage of officers because of a lack of funding and lack of community support and respect.

The DA’s office also has a lack of personnel because of funding, so criminals are back on the streets ready to re-offend.

Reading the Observer’s series on gun crime is an education. We can’t help solve the problems if we don’t know the cause.

We can help solve the problems by voting for candidates who strongly support all areas of our legal system; by completing forms the DA’s office sends; by testifying in court; and joining CharMeck Court Watch.

We need to be part of the solution.

Valerie Davis, Charlotte