David E. Baugh, superintendent, Bensalem Township School District, and Heather D. Nicholas, school board president
Guides to higher ed
While scaling back is inevitable, the news about deep cuts in high school counseling positions is especially disturbing, because in times of economic stress, students need college counseling more than ever. What's more, the high school population is growing more racially, ethnically, and economically diverse, including more students for whom the path to higher education can be especially challenging. In Pennyslvania, the public school student-to-counselor ratio is 377-1, which vastly exceeds the recommended ratio of 250-1. Expanding college opportunity can spur higher earnings, greater innovation, and productivity, all of which contribute to greater economic well-being for the nation. Trained and committed school counseling professionals are essential to our future.
Eric J. Furda, dean of admissions, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Jonathan Tamari reports that some are skeptical about Rep. Rob Andrews' stated rationale for resigning ("Andrews' reasons for exit fail to convince watchdogs," Feb. 9). Skeptical is too mild a word. No one, I repeat, no one believes Andrews is resigning for financial reasons.
Andy Anderson, Blackwood, email@example.com
Aid job seekers
Despite millions of Americans still out of work, the U.S. Senate fell short again last week on an effort to extend unemployment benefits, which ended in December. Some senators argued that unemployment insurance adds to the federal budget deficit without doing much to alleviate the underlying problem. But the purpose of unemployment insurance is not to create jobs, any more than health insurance is meant to cure disease. There are better and more logical ways to encourage economic growth than withholding benefits to people struggling to find work. And there are ways to balance the federal budget that do not burden job seekers and their loved ones.
Damian Morden-Snipper, Philadelphia
Web, phone outages
Comcast, Verizon, and other Internet, cable, and phone service providers should start reporting outages just like PECO as reliance on these services becomes essential to our work and daily lives.
Carl Witonsky, Bryn Mawr, firstname.lastname@example.org
Instead, picture this
Pennsylvania's film tax credit is welfare for filmmakers who can afford to pay millions to stars like Robert De Niro, who appeared in the locally produced Silver Linings Playbook. They shouldn't be getting handouts from Pennsylvania taxpayers or those of any other state. Advocates' claim that the tax credits create jobs rings hollow. More local businesses would create jobs if Pennsylvania focused on making the business climate better for all, not just a favored few. Rather than uncap the credit, lower it - to zero.
Andrew Terhune, Philadelphia, email@example.com
Read more letters on the Editorial Board's blog at inquirer.com/saywhat.