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The problem with college is the cost, not who pays for it

To The Daily Sun,

I can't think of any idea more misguided than suggesting we make a product "free" simply because its cost has become outrageously expensive. Wouldn't superior logic dictate the focus be to eliminate the causes that make the cost prohibitive? If being "expensive" qualified for "free" all the major, important things in life would be free, including cars and homes.

By the way when did the people who work in the "expensive" professions ever volunteer to work for free? They never have. In fact, those who work in education have demanded wage and benefit increases steeper and faster than almost any profession in America. Should I call them cold-hearted SOBs? To suggest something will be "free" is nothing more than a magician's illusion by the "political class" first for their benefit.

If "free" entitlements from government created fairness wouldn't you think we would have experienced a tiny whiff of it? Equality is now more elusive than ever no matter the spread of "free" or the increase in entitlements. All "free" means is someone other then the recipient will be stuck paying the bill. Every attempt by government in the last 100 years to distort market values, subsidize services or price-fix has turned into a disaster no matter how many billions in "free," subsidy, funny money is sucked from middle class wrapped in a cloak of fairness.

A college degree has become outrageously expensive because the people who work in higher education don't have one reason to deliver a college education to your son or daughter more productively or efficiently. In fact every incentive they have has been to drive costs so high "free sounds like a solution." That is exactly what has happened. The public is now beyond outrage. They think "free" is a possible "fix" rather than demand education — and people who work in education, like Scott Cracraft — fix what anyone else would call an abysmal failure in private enterprise.

This is exactly what socialism looks like. Scott Cracraft now demands a taxpayer "whitewash job" to mask over his failure and that of his peers to produce a better product at a reasonable cost that Main Street America can afford. That is insulting to my intelligence, and it should be to yours. This is not a debate about free college. It is a life-and-death debate about capitalism that has created the most prosperous nation on earth surrendering to socialism and the incredible history of failure that has attended that form of government since time began.

This is where education under the iron grip of labor unions and Scott Cracraft ends. Today, only 53 percent of students graduate from four-year colleges within six years. Only 30 percent graduate from two-year colleges within three years, nationally. In order to keep enrollments high (and Scott employed) the number of students requiring remedial classes hits records, while college drop-out rates are horrendous and the number of people employed in jobs not requiring a degree but who have one are at record percentages.

Now we should go even further down the academic barrel to offer a new, free entitlement to every D-plus and C-minus student that should be going to vocational schools to learn a trade as shortages of plumbers, carpenters, welders, machinists and electricians are forecast.

But Democrats have so stigmatized real work, especially blue-collar work, the bottom 20-percent of every class will now think they have a right and entitlement to a liberal arts degree in European fine arts history that leads to a fine arts job serving Big Macs at MacDonald's. That is where "free" college for everyone ends my friends.

It seems Democrats think we need more folks working at Starbucks and Barns & Noble with free degrees paid for out of taxpayers' wages for their lifetimes.

Tony Boutin

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Every child deserves the chance to enter school ready to learn

To The Daily Sun,

Developmental screening of young children provides critical information on how children are doing as they grow. Like a yardstick for measuring height, developmental screening is a tool that helps families measure important areas of their children's development through the early years.

Early brain research confirms that brains are built over time, and "from the bottom up," with simple circuits and skills providing the foundation for learning more complex skills. As such, the sooner developmental concerns are identified; the sooner children and parents can get the supports they need to maximize their children's potential.

In New Hampshire, one out of every five children under the age of 5 are at risk of developmental or behavioral concerns. Unfortunately, most of New Hampshire's children do not receive standardized screening for developmental or behavioral concerns. As a result, some children with delays do not have access to the early identification and services that are so critical to their development.

Identifying and intervening early to address developmental delays in young children can help prevent additional problems. In some cases, this is as simple as helping a child with a speech problem that might otherwise keep him/her from playing with other children and/or succeeding in school. Intervening early can prevent or minimize the need for costly special education services.

The start of a new school year is a powerful reminder that every child deserves the chance to enter school ready to learn. Ensuring that all children are screened for developmental concerns and receive the services needed to promote their optimal development is an important part of ensuring success for the state's youngest students.

Family-Centered Early Supports and Services, New Hampshire's Early Intervention system, is a service provided to families and children until their third birthday who have a developmental delay, disability or an established condition. Services are provided in the home and community to assist families in providing the best evidence-based practices to enhance a child's growth and development.

For more information, please call 524-8811 and ask for the Intake Coordinator.
Erin Pettengill, Director

Family Resource Center of Central NH

Marti Ilg, Executive Director

Lakes Region Child Care Services

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