Letters: Missing data | Runaway bureaucracy | CalWORKs cuts | State accountability | U.N. peacekeeping

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Story leaves out critical
data on college cost

Re: “Is higher education worth the money?” (Page B1, May 12).

It’s great that the study focuses on low- and moderate-income learners and actual typical cost and long-term salaries, but the results aggregate programs and outcomes in a way that distorts some of the key conclusions. The mounting cost of traditional four-year college programs can take years to offset for those who don’t pursue the most lucrative careers.

By not breaking down fields of study and specific credentials, the report misses a valuable opportunity to provide actionable guidance for these students into pathways for the goal of “a financially secure future.” As an example, California is reimagining its Master Plan for Career Education, which involves career technical education, apprenticeships, and other avenues that can combine with college to provide both return on investment and access to careers without being saddled with debt, depending on the careers that learners choose.

Rick Rafey
Santa Clara

VTA has become
a runaway bureaucracy

Re: “BART extension will not receive needed scrutiny” (Page A8, May 12).

A friend of mine worked as an intern for the city of San Jose when they were considering light rail. A consultant from the federal government told them that light rail wouldn’t work in San Jose. For one thing, people who live more than two miles from a light rail station won’t use light rail. What made more sense for San Jose was to expand bus transit. It’s a lot cheaper to build bus stops than lay track and build light rail stations, and routes can be adjusted to meet demand.

VTA no longer tracks the cost of operating light rail separate from bus transit. Check their annual report.

VTA has become a bureaucracy with a permanent funding stream from sales tax revenues. They are no longer accountable to taxpayers. You would think that some elected officials would be able to hold them accountable for poor management.

Tom Ferro
San Jose

CalWORKs cuts would
hurt women most

Re: “Newsom: State has $27 billion shortfall” (Page A1, May 11).

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently presented a revised budget plan, in response to ongoing financial challenges faced by the state. The budget plan includes cuts to the CalWORKs employment services.

As a social work graduate student, I strongly oppose the budget cuts to the employment services offered by CalWORKs in consideration of the current high child care expenses and gender inequality.

According to a 2022 U.S. Census Bureau survey, high child care costs in states like California lead many women to leave their jobs to care for young children. This trend is exacerbated by the gender pay gap, and it’s harder for women to re-enter the workforce after a career gap. The situation is even more challenging for low-income single mothers.

Yunsung Shin

State programs are
ripping off taxpayers

Re: “Politicians keep shifting blame on homelessness” (Page A9, May 12).

Thank you for publishing the article and the data provided therein: $24 billion spent serving 180,000 homeless …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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