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Blame the parents
I have become disenchanted with the articles by City regarding the state of the Rochester school system. True, it is a sad situation. My issue with the approach to the problem is that there is one glaring area that isn't being addressed.
Fingers are constantly being pointed at the superintendent, Rochester Teachers Association, principals, teachers, etc. Did anyone ever consider saying that the problem is in the homes?
When students start kindergarten, it should be assumed that they have learned some basic rules from their parents. It has to be the duty of these parents to ensure that their children are equipped with some fundamental skills.
The duties of the educators are to teach science, arts, history, math, etc. It should not be their responsibility to substitute as parents.
I suggest that the 18 year olds who are parents become more engaged and be held responsible for their children. This pattern has not and will not change unless parents own up to their obligation to raise their children and bring them up to speed so that they are ready to take on the long education process. Hopefully it might eventually enhance the quality of life.
We all agree that the problem of urban poverty is multifaceted. Getting rid of red-light cameras would be a drop in-the-bucket as far as poverty solutions. However, you have to ask whether the red-light camera program is more of a liability to improving police/community relations than it is a public safety benefit.
To me, this seems more like harassment, especially when poor people are unable to pay multiple tickets. Loss of transportation and loss of a job isn't the direction of progress. Funding a police department on the backs of poor people is shameful.
The city says the red-light cameras are for safety, yet they stepped up the collection of fines by booting cars and adding penalties. If they want to increase safety, maybe they should consider speed cameras.
Are there any red light cameras in Monroe County other than in the City of Rochester? I find it hard to believe that the only unsafe intersections (which require cameras) are within the city limits.
Better use for state dollars
City reported recently that, for financial reasons, the Central Library downtown is cutting Sunday hours.
Sunday hours for the library run $104,000 per year. So the Rochester Anti-Poverty Task Force that recently took in $500k in state taxpayer money (with more to come) could essentially fund nearly five years of Sunday operation for the Central Library.
What's a better value for taxpayers, five years of Sunday operation for the library or a 150-person poverty task force staffed by the head of every major nonprofit in Rochester angling for more public taxpayer money (above and beyond the usual donations) to keep their organizations viable, with no evidence whatsoever that any of them collectively have actually done anything to reduce poverty?