Letter to the Editor: Doomed to Fail?

Right to Read … really? Sounds good. A worthy goal. And so obvious how the GOP has a way of diverting from other sociological priorities that contribute to the problem and that they will never fund.

I suggest Right to Read is doomed to fail. 

Here are the facts from a PBS NewsHour interview with Ms. K. Burk, leader of Mississippi’s literacy turn-around: A philanthropist donated $100 million to invest in preschool! Mississippi has, rounded, well over 400,000 school-age children, according to Ballotpedia. Wisconsin has, again rounded, more than double that. Yet the Wisconsin Republican Legislature has approved just half that amount ($50 million, taxpayer funded) for twice as many kids! And their budget neglects preschool (and daycare).

Contrary to the opinion of a certain Door County legislator, I know how to read, do research and do math. By the above numbers, Mississippi is spending roughly $250 per pupil, and Wisconsin only $62.50. And 67 “reading coaches” for the whole state of Wisconsin? That’s not even one per county. And what are their credentials?

This is going to be a miracle?

We would have been much better off if Ronald Reagan hadn’t cut funding for Title I back in the 1980s. The illiteracy produced by that decision created generations who still are not proficient, literacy being greatly enhanced by that one-to-one attention for those who need it.

Diane Evenson
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin