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Quarrel over Hart hurts DeVry graduates

Arizona and our residents benefit from a variety of advanced educational options from both public and private providers.

However, the quarrel over the DeVry Education Group’s board appointment of UA President Ann Weaver Hart, is both undeserved, and damaging to Arizona citizens, especially those with DeVry training and degrees.

It has been alleged that DeVry ran misleading advertisements four years ago in 2012, although there has been no ruling on the matter.

Nonetheless, a small group of Democratic legislators, activists and newspaper columnists have now called upon Hart to resign as UA president, simply because she did not acquiesce to their demands to step down from the DeVry board.

According to “Inside Higher Ed,” nearly one-third of all public college presidents serve on corporate boards.

Accusations by Democrats, who appear much more supportive of public educational institutions than private, have hurt DeVry and made it more difficult for its graduates to land jobs.

Irresponsible allegations by this small band of political elites have tarnished Arizona’s DeVry graduates, in spite of everything they have worked to accomplish.

Assistant House Democratic Minority Leader Bruce Wheeler stated that Hart’s service on the DeVry board is somehow “unethical,” however he failed to state why it’s unethical.

House Democrats even refused to meet with me and UA officials last week, which leads me to believe that even though Hart did not break any policy or rule, Democratic leaders really don’t want this issue to be resolved.

Their actions and accusations are not only short-sighted, they are also regrettable.

Bob Thorpe

Republican state representative, Flagstaff

Education fight requires new state leadership

As a veteran Arizona public school teacher, I have been in the classroom passionately working with our precious Arizona children while our state leadership has cut our budget to the bone.

Over the past eight years class sizes have ballooned, important programs have been cut, key positions eliminated, supply budgets decimated, and many of our best young teachers have fled the state like the flood water of a monsoon.

I am now encouraged to vote for Proposition 123 because “it’s better than nothing” to provide funding for public education. No matter how you vote on Prop. 123, I urge you to help us “clean house” of our current Arizona leadership.

We need leaders who value our children, our teachers and the entire educational system.

We need leaders who will truly represent “we the people” and follow through on the voter-mandated proposition and the court directive that schools be paid $300 million right now.

After all, our children are Arizona’s future and worth a whole lot more than “it’s better than nothing.”

Tanya Glover

Marana

Mandatory sentencing regulations need to go

I am stunned by the stark contrast between the Star’s April 13 article “County receives grant to help reform its jail system, keep people out of it,” and the April 17 piece, “Mandatory terms serve few, parents of jailed woman say.”

Kudos to Pima County for receiving a $1.5 million grant to reduce its jail population and address racial disparities.

And shame on our state Legislature for maintaining an archaic mandatory sentencing policy that precludes judges from taking individual circumstances into account when defendants are arrested for DUIs and numerous other offenses.

Unbelievably, the mandated sentence for a third DUI offense within seven years is six to 15 years.

As the second article states, a large proportion of state prisoners harbor underlying mental health and/or substance abuse problems that require treatment, not incarceration.

Having worked in the addictions field for close to three decades, I shudder to ponder how many Arizonans’ lives are needlessly destroyed by our archaic mandatory sentencing regulations.

John Newport

Northwest side