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Send funds for students with disabilities directly to families

Parents and children can’t wait years to receive services when their needs are so severe and immediate.

Celeste O’Connor and her daughter Chloe Eugenio try to find certain word on a device that lets her speak at their Chicago home on Aug. 5.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Last week, the Sun-Times Editorial Board wrote a meaningful commentary on the failure of Chicago Public Schools to provide services for students with disabilities. While it is important to shine a light on the abject failure of CPS and hold it accountable, it’s time for new solutions to this decades-old problem.

Instead of sending more and more funds to a failed bureaucratic system, families should receive the funds directly. CPS has been given decades to get its act in order and has continued to show it is incapable of doing the job.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be approximately 350 words or less.

Parents and children can’t wait years to receive services when their needs are so severe and immediate. They want something done immediately to change the inherent structural challenges present in Chicago’s broken school system.

According to a poll from April 2021, 61% of voters support the Invest in Kids Act that provides scholarship funds for low-income families whose children need more educational options other than their neighborhood public school.

The system is failing, and yet the schools keep getting rewarded for bad behavior. Parents deserve the opportunity to help shape their child’s destiny and are unfairly beholden to a failed system that “intentionally” or not does not have their child’s best interests at heart.

Voters are left with a decision, either allow these failed systems to continue operating without accountability or competition, or finally support families with children with disabilities and allow them to be in charge of their child’s education and future.

Katie Clancy, Lake View

When to make masks optional

Establishments that enforce a “proof of vaccination required” rule should be allowed to make masks optional, if they choose. The data are very clear that the vast majority of COVID-19 cases originate in unvaccinated people. Fully vaccinated individuals who are not otherwise immuno-compromised are at diminishingly low risk for contracting or spreading COVID-19 in all-vaccinated settings.

David G. Whiteis, Humboldt Park

Repeating a mistake

We knew how ugly our abrupt departure was from Saigon, yet we are repeating it leaving Kabul. We’ve learned nothing. Our vaunted military supposedly knows how to move entire armies to any point on the planet within 36 hours. Logistics is supposed to be our Pentagon’s forté. So who bungled the departure from Kabul, anticipated years in advance? Who failed to make our left-behind equipment inoperable? Who failed to organize our interpreters there and prepare for their extraction independent of our snail’s pace D.C. visa issuers?

Why couldn’t those fleeing for their lives be flown to pre-arranged safe enclaves while visa niceties get sorted out? Why were all combat troops sent home then brought back when staying put was a foreseen need? Is our nation actually being defended by such an incompetent military? How will we repair the damage to our credibility this debacle has caused? Where was our alleged intelligence that ought to have known in advance that the swift Taliban sweep and takeover was imminent? Is that our allies snickering behind our backs and asking, “Is this the nation that won WWII?” When will the courts martial begin to punish the incompetents? Bugs Bunny could have done better.

President Joe Biden’s Aug. 16 speech justified our departure, but was silent on how badly it has been executed. Heads must surely roll. As the old Duke Ellington song says, “It Ain’t What You Do, It’s The Way That You Do It.” Simple wisdom apparently not known to all; as is the adage, “Nothing short of right is right.”

Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park

A misnomer

Our entry into Afghanistan in 2001 was in response to the 9/11 attack, an attack that was successful in large measure due to the failure of the intelligence community to pick up on the threat of it taking place. Now, 20 years later, the final stage of our exit from Afghanistan has moved at a breakneck pace because the intelligence community failed to recognize the possibility of the rapid, total collapse of the Afghan military. Is “intelligence community” a misnomer?

Gerald Weisberg, Lake View