Mask, vaccine support in Michigan largely aligns with vaccination status, poll shows

Letters: Other views on abortion, school funding

The Detroit News
In this Dec. 12, 2016, file photo, protesters hold anti-abortion signs outside the Planned Parenthood Columbia Health Center on in Columbia, Mo.

People shocked by abortion status quo

In recent days, abortion legislation has passed in New York, failed in Virginia, and has been promised to be signed into law by Rhode Island’s governor. These bills have several things in common.

First, each bill has generated shock and outrage among many people. Second, the main part of each bill is to legalize abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. Third, each bill really doesn’t change anything.

Many Americans have heard of Roe v. Wade. Few understand what the case said and how it functions. Very few have ever heard of Doe v. Bolton, its companion case decided on the same day, January 22, 1973. Roe says you can restrict late-term abortions, as long as you leave an exception for “health.” Doe defines “health” to mean practically anything.

This jurisprudential sleight-of-hand is by design. Numerous institutions have utterly failed the American people in educating them about abortion as a policy issue.

It should be no surprise people are shocked to learn that most abortion advocates believe an unborn child has zero moral worth. People outraged by the New York bill have practically never been told abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy has been the law of the land for 46 years.

It also should be no surprise abortion advocates in Michigan also want to make sure abortion-on-demand is protected in actual law in preparation for Roe v. Wade to be finally overturned. Newly-elected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made a promise in her primary campaign do to what New York did. Will anyone have the good sense to ask her exactly why she believes abortion a day before birth should be legal? How many people in Michigan know her position?

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam got into hot water by stating disabled infants born alive can be left to die. His position is nothing new. The Baby Doe case from Indiana in 1982 involved parents letting their child with Down syndrome die rather than perform a relatively non-risky surgery to fix his throat. President Barack Obama vocally opposed a version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in Illinois after evidence was revealed of children born alive and left to die in Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Abortion supporters have been getting away with not having their position properly scrutinized for decades. They are in a terrible conundrum. Once you recognize that a child before birth has moral worth at a specific point, there’s no logical reason to say a child a day before that point can be killed for any reason. How much longer will they get away with never having to explain what they really believe?

Chris Gast

director of communication/education

Right to Life of Michigan

School funding remains grave problem

As project director for the School Finance Research Collaborative, I read with great interest the Detroit News column by Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, criticizing the recent Michigan State University report that determined Michigan is not adequately or fairly funding its schools.

Last year, the collaborative produced Michigan’s first comprehensive school adequacy study, which has provided a roadmap to fixing Michigan’s broken school funding approach and making it fair for all students. Our current approach treats all students as if they have identical needs. Quite the opposite, there is no one-size-fits all approach to educating our kids.

The School Finance Research Collaborative study determined the base cost of educating a child to Michigan’s academic standards, with additional funding considerations for special education,English Language Learners, students living in poverty and Career and Technical Education programs.

Right now, many of our schools are struggling to meet state performance standards, and students will only continue to fall behind if we don’t provide the support services necessary to prepare them for college and the modern workforce.

We don't stand alone in its call for a new, fairer school funding approach that meets the needs of all students. Michigan’s school funding adequacy report of 2016, a recent report by Business Leaders for Michigan, and former Gov. Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Education Commission report all identified school adequacy as a key factor in improving student performance across our state.

In 2017, former Lt. Gov. Brian Calley’s Special Education Funding Subcommittee Report determined Michigan underfunds special education by roughly $700 million every year.

Now is the time for Michigan to invest in the success of all students, regardless of income, zip code, learning challenges or other circumstances. We owe our kids no less.

Wanda Cook-Robinson

program director

School Finance Research Project