Kudos for the Sun-Times editorial on April 6 recognizing that Illinois’ increase in violence, crime and poverty, stems from a lack of equal access to quality education options. We cannot Band-Aid the problems, like we have attempted to do for so many years; we have to treat the root cause today. Our education system in Chicago and throughout Illinois is among the least equitable in the country. It looks at poor and minority children who are gifted as “liabilities to be managed” rather than “assets to be grown,” as evidenced in a report recently released by our organization.

Children in overcrowded public schools are being denied a quality education. K-12 scholarships for families are few and far between. School facilities are woefully out of date or in disrepair. And, kids statewide are not getting access to the coursework they need to be successful in the 21st  century.

The funding formula for public education needs fixing. But so too does the way lawmakers value the policies that can make a difference today. Scholarships for low-income students, equal access to gifted programs, and course equity are three easy and impactful ways to improve outcomes for our kids, and our state. It’s time to turn the upswing in violence, crime and poverty around. It’s on us and it’s about doing what’s right for our kids.

Myles Mendoza
Executive Director
One Chance Illinois

 

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Pope Francis did not budge on church doctrine

In a Sunday, April 10 editorial, the Sun-Times states that “We even detect a strong implication that sometimes it’s OK for the Church to look the other way.” This shows a total lack of understanding of what Pope Francis wrote in “The Joy of Love.” True pastoral care does not put mercy above doctrine and love above dogma, as suggested, but should be included within. The Church’s stand on birth control was and is that Natural Family Planning is the only acceptable means, and the informed conscience must determine if it is appropriate to use. Liberals find this unacceptable because it requires abstinence at certain times, preferring to use contraceptives instead. For some of the flock who have gone their own way on some issues, the job of the clergy is to help them understand Church teachings in order to have an informed conscience. To repent, one must first recognize something as a sin.

Donald Nauyokas, Brighton Park