Better education is possible within the public school system. The issue isn't money, it's the mix of student populations.

We need to combine four or five districts into one. The cost to taxpayers would remain about the same, but we could adjust the classroom sizes to be more equal.

Have strong students work next to weaker students. Teach the students that we all need to look out for each other. Students need help seeing the benefits of working hard.

Teachers also need to be taught that all students can find their own level of excellence. It may not always be an A, but sometimes it could be a solid C.

Combining districts would also strengthen school choice. Students could enroll on a first-come, first-served basis. And if a student needs a particular kind of help, he or she could be placed in the school that can best accommodate the need.

Further, no punishment should result in suspensions. If students are disruptive, they should be held on school grounds and sent to self-help classes to learn social responsibility. After-school programs should be open to all.

Education should be for all students, no matter their ability to learn, and not simply for the benefit or reputation of an individual school.

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Joe Thrapp, Rockville Centre