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Parents choosing kids' schools and NUMC's tobacco funds

The Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow

The Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow Credit: Howard Schnapp

Allow parents to pick kids’ schools

Evaluating the performance of teachers has been controversial for years ["Schools, parents are intertwined," Letters, Sept. 5]. The poor performance ranking of American students is well documented in international rankings. In many tested benchmark subjects, the United States ranked poorly.

Why not allow parents to choose where their children are educated and who does the teaching? Taxpayer parents may just have more of a vested interest in their children’s education and future than anyone else.

Interestingly, it seems that many teachers and their unions oppose school choice and instead choose the status quo. Taxpayers in all neighborhoods should speak up.

— Rich Adrian, Huntington

Tobacco funds help NUMC in big ways

In the column "Avoiding a tobacco replay" [News, Aug. 29], the parenthetical sentence that some of Nassau County’s securitized tobacco funds went to Nassau University Medical Center completely understates the achievements of the 2007 bipartisan agreement to transfer $95 million in tobacco funds.

NUMC leveraged some of those funds for capital improvements to upgrade the emergency room, labor and delivery floor, and infusion center, and to build a primary care suite. Some funds were used to match grants and to draw down disproportionate share funds. The federally qualified health clinics with better reimbursement rates were organized, which saved community-based clinics. One of the best ways to reduce tobacco use is to connect patients with access to health services, including primary care. Nassau County’s tobacco funds helped thousands of patients over the past 16 years with tobacco cessation and better health care.

Opioid settlement funds need to be used just as effectively to support access to treatment for substance abuse and mental health services.

— Laura Curran, Mineola

The writer is Nassau County executive.

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