In Texas, Gov. Bush has worked to protect children's...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 19, 2000

In Texas, Gov. Bush has worked to protect children's health

A recent federal court ruling promotes a misleading picture of Texas' progress in providing comprehensive health care to children and portrays Gov. George W. Bush as insensitive to the needs of children ("Court criticizes care of kids in Texas Medicaid system," Aug. 31).

As usual, the media have not reported the full story.

The lawsuit involved in the ruling began in 1993, during the term of Democratic Governor Ann Richards.

In 1995, Mr. Bush took office and began programs of voluntary compliance, without waiting for a court decree. Of 148 specific items found deficient in the 1993 case, only nine are still deemed deficient.

These nine provisions largely deal with the state's Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program (EPSDT). But the fact is that under Mr. Bush, Texas has doubled its EPSDT participation, from 29 percent in 1993 to 61 percent in 1998 -- which puts Texas well above the national participation rate of 54 percent.

Texas' EPSDT outreach effort costs $15 million annually. It is the largest in the country and exceeds federal requirements. Outreach workers have increased from 10 in 1993 to almost 600 today.

Every state is struggling to comply with the federal requirements. Mr. Bush should be praised for the tremendous progress made in providing for the health of Texas children.

Ellen Sauerbrey, Baldwin

The writer is Maryland Chairman of Bush for President.

Parental involvement creates successful schools

As usual, Gregory Kane has exposed the truth that the public refuses to hear: Pouring more and more money into our public schools is not going to cure our educational problems ("Math adds up in recent school survey," Aug. 30).

The American Legislative Exchange Council report Mr. Kane quoted states that school "improvements are realized with the strength of civic institutions, such as parental involvement, the decentralization of district-controlled public schools, and strong family structures."

These are precisely the elements that make private schools successful. Parents who are not concerned and involved with their children's education would not make the sacrifices necessary for some to pay tuition to these schools.

Parents, not students or educators, make schools successful.

They do so when they take responsibility for children's behavior and show, not just in words but in deeds, that they value the education public schools can provide, with appropriate parental support.

When the public finally understands and applies this principle, the cry for private school vouchers will be silenced.

Connie Verita, Baldwin

ADHD isn't really a `learning disability'

I am writing to point out an error in The Sun's recent article on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ("Hospital to offer seminar on learning disability, Sept. 6).

ADHD is not and has never been classified as a "learning disability," according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

ADHD is characterized by a pattern of inattention or hyperactivity that is more frequent and severe than is typical for individuals at a comparable level of development. To qualify as ADHD, such symptoms must be present before age seven.

Because symptoms are typically exacerbated in situations that require sustained attention or effort, ADHD often becomes apparent in the classroom. Academic, emotional and interpersonal difficulties secondary to ADHD are common.

But ADHD-like symptoms in children and teen-agers often are more accurately attributed to learning disorders or problems such as anxiety or depression.

Jill A. Tucillo, Baltimore

Hillary Clinton has a right to seek any offices she wants

A recent letter criticized Hillary Clinton's candidacy for the Senate as inappropriate because she is the wife of a president ("Riding husband's coattails, first lady betrays feminism," Sept. 3).

Does this mean that Mrs. Clinton and other women having enriching life experiences differing from those of the majority of women should be automatically disqualified from seeking to utilize these experiences for their further advancement? If this is so, women have sadly decided to construct their own "glass ceiling."

Mrs. Clinton is qualified to run for any office she so chooses, even though I don't personally agree with her on many issues.

The issues would determine whether Mrs. Clinton would receive my vote.

But in the interest of true democracy and diversity, every woman's right to run for political office should be defended.

Pamela J. Ellis, Abingdon

The president supported the law that hurt him

A recent letter noted, "last time, in a gross violation of the president's privacy, they [those like Kenneth Starr] forced President Clinton, under oath, to bare his soul" ("Time for Texas Gov. Bush to take the witness stand," Aug. 31).

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