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Re: Ingrid Jacques’ Jan. 8 column “Where’s the outrage over DPS teacher strikes?”: I would like to thank you for addressing the issue on teacher sick-out.

I can remember when you had to bring a note when you were absent from school. It appears the teachers must be treated like little kids and be requested to bring a note from the doctor or emergency room.

I also would assume that anyone who forged documents would be fired immediately. If a doctor or emergency room were caught handing out fraudulent documents, they would be fined.

You do not need the Legislature to require those documents.

Tell the school board to start being proactive, and this would have nothing to do with any contract.

This just tells all why we need to rid all public unions of defined pensions and go to a 401 program. The teacher pension has a big deficit that teachers still say is the fault of former Gov. John Engler. It has nothing to do with the five-year buy-in, COLA or Social Security recipients not paying for their supplemental insurance.

I forgot the MEA also has a shortfall. Here comes the union dues increase on top of fewer students just like before because that is not taxpayer responsibility.

Jim Godfroy, Westland

Democrats issue oriented

Kudos to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the mostly reasonable issue-oriented debate.

She, the experienced pragmatist, recognized the many successes of the Obama administration that have been largely neglected: Affordable Care Act, relations with Iran, rescuing the country from the recession, removing Osama bin Laden, avoiding another misguided war, helping the middle class. She wants to continue the fine progress.

He, the passionate ideologist populist, had important differences with Secretary Clinton about the ACA, power and influence of Wall Street and gun regulations.

Both candidates showed concern for black and Hispanic citizens plus injustices in judicial system. Martin O'Malley was sincere and credible as he listed his accomplishments though his time was limited. He would be a fine cabinet member.

All citizens must research their preferred candidate and choose the one who represents their values.

Hannah Provence Donigan, Commerce

Aid for Flint or Snyder?

Gov. Rick Snyder was recently quoted saying: “I have determined that this incident is potentially of such severity and magnitude that effective recovery is beyond the capabilities of the State of Michigan and the affected local governments and that federal relief assistance is necessary.”

Why should the federal disaster aid of nearly a billion dollars be allotted to Michigan to bail out the ineffective governor?

Maybe, the projected budget surplus should be earmarked for Flint, or rescind the latest tax break to big business.

Carol Frantz, West Bloomfield

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