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Rauner’s wealth has helped others

Updated: February 15, 2014 6:17AM

The Sun-Times seems intent on painting Bruce Rauner as a bad guy because he’s wealthy. Just think of how many other underprivileged children would benefit if there were more Bruce Rauners donating to the education of Chicago’s children? The Sun-Times’ own article reported that Rauner donated more than $1.5 million to Chicago projects alone. How can that be bad? And he did so because his child got “clouted” into Payton Prep. I have no problem with selling admissions to Payton for $1.5 million each. Seems like a good deal for Chicago students. That money might otherwise have gone to the Latin School or New Trier High School. Why not just take the guy’s money and say thank you?

Corey Simonson, Old Irving Park

Rauner dissed for giving back

It is humorous to see Bruce Rauner’s detractors twist themselves into knots trying to portray him in a negative light because he pulled strings to gain admission for his daughter to Payton Prep. If there is a single candidate for governor who has not used his wealth or political influence for some advantage, I would love to see an article on that candidate in the Sun-Times. It would seem to me that Rauner’s donation of $250,000 to the school would mitigate any undo influence. In fact, if every influential individual would display such a spirit of giving back for their advantages, the rich and powerful would be held in much less disdain, and the world would be a better place.

Michael F. Heffernan, Woodridge

Time to demand mascot equality

Where is the outrage from the media liberal elites, the holier-than-thou University of Illinois chancellor and the NCAA regarding the presence and performance of Florida State University’s Chief Osceola on his horse Renegade stabbing a flaming spear in the middle of the Rose Bowl? Where is the outrage for not “banning” Florida State from postseason play because of its use of Native American imagery in its symbol and mascot(s), as the NCAA had threatened other member schools?

And, finally, where is the outrage of every member of Illini Nation for allowing themselves to be totally duped and bullied by the NCAA and these other groups? It is time to say enough is enough and demand Mascot Equality!

Jay R. Brown, Highland, Ill.

Non-punitive approach is best for school discipline

We write in support of Friday’s editorial, “Kicking kids out of school should be last resort.” We also applaud the release of new school discipline guidelines by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice that call on schools to address racial disparities in discipline by utilizing positive approaches to school discipline to minimize suspensions and expulsions.

As a group of Chicago Public School parents, POWER-PAC, we have been working for 10 years to end the school-to-prison pipeline and we are excited to have contributed to the development of these new federal guidelines through our participation on the national Council of State Government’s School Discipline Consensus project. At that national table, we pushed for the elimination of zero tolerance and the dependence on out-of-school suspensions, but our work does not end there. Here in the Chicago Public Schools, we are modeling non-punitive, restorative approaches to school discipline as alternatives to harsh disciplinary practices. We run parent-led “Peace Centers” in several schools, such as Wells High, where trained parent peacemakers employ restorative justice practices, such as Peace Circles, with students who otherwise would be suspended or expelled. We offer the students a space, and the skills and support they need to address what is happening in their lives and to change unhealthy behavior. The program has proven to improve school climate and the behavior and academic achievement of participating students.

While the release of the new guidelines is a huge step forward, we cannot rest until we have ensured that all schools have the resources and investment needed to implement the positive behavior approaches that we know work.

Felipa Mena and Charlene Campbell

Co-chairs of Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew-Policy Action Council

ACA is positive move forward for health care

As we prepare to celebrate the Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday later this month, we should reflect on these words from Dr. King: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Sadly, prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we hadn’t made much progress in addressing health care injustice. Too many people either struggled with the high costs of health care or the uncertainty of no coverage in the event of illness. As someone who recently joined millions of Americans on the national health care exchange in researching and purchasing coverage (for $100 per month less than my previous plan with a lower deductible and no costs for tests), I am a firm believer the ACA is the beginning of the U.S. finally moving along that long arc of the moral universe toward justice in health care.

Angela Rudolph, Bronzeville

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