Teachers deserve better 

The future of our state, our country and even our world is at the hands of teachers. With such a responsibility, the underwhelming teacher salary is what is turning teachers away to better-paying careers.

First-year teachers get about $40,000 a year, and nearly 50% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years. Also, teachers make about 20% less than other professionals with similar education and experience. On top of that, the teacher shortage is real, large and growing, and worse than we thought. When indicators of teacher quality (certification, relevant training, experience, etc.) are taken into account, the shortage is even more acute than currently estimated.

As a society, we should lean toward bettering our future, but without the qualified platform to properly teach our children, it is expected for things to just get worse. A pay increase will drive incoming teachers to pursue the essential career of teaching.

Pedro Barraza,


Spread safety in Texas

My name is Noah Norried, and there’s a very serious issue that must be discussed in regard to the recent mask mandate that’s been lifted by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence to retain the COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, the governor has decided to lift them for very nonsensical reasons. There were exactly 7,240 new cases that had been confirmed the day that Greg Abbott announced the lift on any COVID-19 restrictions in the state, and that number was roughly 2,000 more cases than the day before.

The state government should still retain the COVID-19 restrictions, for they are providing safety and retaining health for the Texan populace. The people of Texas’ health isn’t a political issue, but the governor is using his political power to disrupt the lives of the people he is supposed to be serving.

Since the government has failed to do its job of protecting us, we must be the ones to take action and help spread safety amongst ourselves.

Noah Norried,


Health first 

The recent behavior demonstrated by the government has currently endangered so many countless lives, and the consequences will be endured after the lifting of the mask mandate is issued. My name is Luciano Rodriguez, and I work for The UPS Store in Frisco, and the sheer amount of people who do not wear a mask who come into the store may seem like there was never a mask mandate in Texas to begin with.

The fact that a mask issue was politicized in the first place has now made every “anti-masker” apathetic to the lives that are still at huge risk from contracting COVID-19. The failed recognition that Americans are still far from reaching herd immunity has become a dangerous fact that many of our politicians refuse to accept.

What the government should do is listen to the facts, the science and the experts that constantly have warned us about the danger of failing to comply with mandates. The priority should have been the health of Americans first.

Luciano Rodriguez,

Little Elm

A community touch to policing 

Defund the police for Denton does not mean unemployment for police officers; it means less money for unnecessary militarized equipment, less drug policing, more community service, more old-school “know your community, be a part of your community.”

And it also means hiring way more social workers, maybe training some existing officers who are excited for the change into social work education programs. It means community aid and mutual assistance. Police officers making sure kids are getting free meals. Social workers there, too. And teachers. All paid more from tax dollars taken from equitable sources.

It means less taxes on the middles class, or at the very least, more programs for the lower middle class and the poor, and better public education, and a police officer who walks by your lawn. The cases are murders, and mental health, and armed robberies, and helping the people who need help. Rehabilitation. Asking people, “What brought you here?” and “What can I do to help?” And asking ourselves why we’re wielding such a big stick. Why are we so scared of our neighbors?

What happened where to bring good children of God to clearly racially based murders across the country? Caught by the democratizing force of the internet and cameras in the hands of good, kindness-loving and hate- and fear-hating citizens to prison labor. And our heated discourse.

Riley Steward,


Citizens paid an immense price

The extreme weather that hit Texas in mid-February was not a surprise. Energy regulators warned of such an event in 2011.

Nevertheless, the state was woefully unprepared. Equipment froze at power plants. Natural gas wells iced over. Much of our electricity infrastructure did not have the insulation and other protections that would allow it to function in extreme winter weather. This lack of preparation caused catastrophic loss of life and property for Texas residents.

What this disaster demonstrates is how costly it can be for government leaders to think that it is always better to have less government. From the viewpoint of utility management, it is not profitable to spend the money to prepare for such a rare event, although climate change will make these events less rare. Government needs to step in and require such preparation when the cost to the citizenry is this immense.

Vote for representatives who will do what is necessary to protect us.

Bob Michaelsen,


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