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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 10, 1993, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4AOpinion HsraW-ZtAivng Wednesday, March 10,1993 Quote of the day The man who does his work, any work, conscientiously, must always be in one sense a great man.” — Dinah Maria Mulock Craik, English novelist (1826-1887). The fact about teaching thefacts of life EditorialsSchool reformEducation measures should accompany new finance plan The Texas electorate will decide in May whether to approve a sweeping education finance plan for public schools in this state. But before voters enter into this constitutional agreement with state officials, they should insist on seeing what they will receive in return for their investment. So far the only real discussion about the public school finance bill has focused on which districts will benefit the most and which will pay the most. That needs to change. Before the constitutional amendment on school finance is placed on the May election ballot, state legislators also should adopt a package of reform proposals that would require more accountability from the public school system. Ibxas desperately needs standardized testing and reporting policies that will allow state officials to hold school systems responsible for educational results. The Educational Economic Policy Center has recommended strong measures that would put school administrators and teachers on notice that improved performance should go hand in hand with school financing. If adopted, the recommendations from the Educational Economic Policy Center would finally give Texans some assurance that the school finance proposition will accomplish something more than shifting the state’s education revenue. Voters should insist that their state representatives show a commitment to educational reform before they ask for support for a restructuring of school funding. Today's editorial was contributed by the Dallas Morning News. Write us • • • The Nmt Braunfels Herald-Zeltung welcomes letters on any public issue. Routinely, letters are condensed with the objective of printing as many of them as space permits. We also correct apeling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. We publish only original mal addressed to The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mall letters to: Letters to the EdHor The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax:(210)625-1224 New BraunfelsHerald-Zeitung Editor and Publisher................  David    Sullena General Manager.  ..................................Cheiyl    Duvall Managing Editor..........................  .........Greg    Mefloid Marketing Director.......................................Dee Dee Crockett Classified Manager. ..............................Karen Rdninger Circulation Director......................................Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman    .Douglas Brandt Published on Sunday mornings and weekday roomings Tuesday through Friday by tha New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, 707 Lands St, or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328. Second class postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels, Taxes. CUSPS 377-880) Cle—delivered in Cornel end Guadalupe counties thus months, $18; six months, $29; one yeer, $49. Senior Citixen Discounts by carrier datively only: six months, $26; one year, $45. Mail delivery outside Cornel County in Texas: throe months, $9646; dx months, $47.20; one year, $88.60. Mail outside Texes: six months, $6L96; one yeer, $103.26. Subscribers who have not raeeivod a newspaper by 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or by 7:30 arn on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 by 7 p.m. orCIlO) 666-1900 by 11a.m. Postmaster: tad addraas changes to its New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, RO. Drawer 311326, New Braunfels, Tx. 76161-1326. My older brother and I were driving dowr. the road one fall afternoon. We’d lust come back from setting up duck blinds in the marshes of a state paik. We had been trudging through ankle-deep mud and swatting literally millions of mosquitos away from our frees in the midst of an 80-degree (fry, so we weren't exactly in the best brame of mind. My brother was 24 or 26 at the time, and I was 14 or 15. It was time fbr “the talk.1' He looked at me and asked if mom and dad had talked to me about sex yet... I, of course, answered, “No." He then proceeded into what I am sure will go down in the annals of histoiy as one of the briefest talks about human sexuality and the reproductive process ever. “When I was your age, I remember what it was like to chase skirt,” he said. “Just remember, always be prepared.” That was it. “Be prepared.” Nothing more. He went from big brother to Cub Scout in a matter of seconds. Funny thing though, I could see the overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment in his eyes as we drove that two-hour drive back to Cypress. Such a proud moment OK, understand this — my older brother, a family member, took the time to give me this in-depth and detailed account of human sexuality. “Be prepared.” I now know all I need to know. So what’s the hubbub about teaching kids about sex? Parents, c’mon. Wake your kids up, sit them down and tell them, “Be prepared.” Gary P. Carroll How hard can it ba? Nevermind that children are stall going into adulthood without knowing how conception wovks, how long or even what gestation is, or anything else on the long Hat of processes necessary to create a child. So what! And who cares that children and adults are coming free to free with isauea of homosexuality, sexually transmitted diseases and sexual dysfunction without knowing anything about them? By the way, how many people know what sexual dysfunction really is? Children, young adults and adults alike still fail to realize that abstinence is the best form of birth control available — but, when push comes to shove, condoms and pills work better than prayers. Fact: Texas has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the nation. Fact: Teens are having sex. Fact: Teens will continue to have sex despite the threat of AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, and in spite of efforts by some to decrease the occurrences by preaching only abstinence. Education is the solution. The children of today are the knights of the future. Dress them in armor of knowledge pol ished with continued education and arm them with integrity. As they grow older, they will begin to make their own decisions about life — we owe it to them to give them adequate knowledge to make fUIly-educated decisions. But most of all, trust your children. Kids today are much more informed than you and I at the same age. They deal with a lot more information, both right and wrong, and free situations at their age that we are just beginning to face at ours. Folks, we are all still learning. Don’t shortchange yourselves and please don’t shortchange your children. We need to educate children. I think we would all agree with that But if there are many parents out there like mine, we need to entrust our educators with the responsibility of teaching our children, sensitively and professionally, about human sexuality. Your children will be exposed to issues such as sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, AIDS, homosexuality, masturbation and any and all forms of sexual deviancy. The questions you have to ask yourselves are these: “How long do I want my child to be in the dark, and who do I want my child to learn about these from?" and “Do I want to limit my child’s options?” If you are going to tell your children about sex, do it Knot, let our professional educators tell them. Someone must teach them, completely. Gary P. Carroll ie a reporter fbr the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.MESSAGE TO CONGRESS Greeter cominifcmsrtt to change Republican cooperation Increase taxes Defense cuts Lower expectations, Older entitlement cuts Curtail lobbyists Kids need help IToday Associated Preee Today is Wednesday, March IO, the 69th day of 1993. There are 296 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March IO, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made what was, in effect, the first telephone call. His assistant, located in an adjoining room in Boston, heard Belfs voice over the experimental device say to him, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you." On this date: In 1496, Christopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere as he left Hispaniola for Spain. In 1629, England’s King Charles I dissolved Parliament; he did not call it back for llyears. In 1785, Thomas Jefferson was appointed minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin. In 1848, the Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war with Mexico. In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant became commander of the Union armies in the Civil War. In 1880, the Salvation Army arrived in the United States from England. GOP argument against motor voter bill difficult By WALTER Ii ISAM Associated Press WASHINGTON — Change the ground rules and the contest will be waged, if not won, differently. That's about to happen politically with the Democratic drive for national rules to govern the way voters are registered. Republicans, worried that the change would work to their disadvantage, were able to stop it when they held the White House, but they probably can onfy delay it now. Even that is politically awkward, since it seems to put them on the wrong side of the adage that the more people register and vote, the better. GOP opponents deny that motive, insisting that they, too, want to encourage registration and voting. But they say it shouldn't be with the measure called the “motor voter^ bill, which they contend would risk wholesale votinx fraud while unfairly foisting federally mandated costs en straDced    adv- eminent*. Easily approved by tha House on a near party-line veto, the measure is hung up now by the throat of Republican filibusters in the Senate. It was due for a second teat thoro today as Democrats fried again to muster 60 votes to end the GOP stall. Tha debate is over broadened Analysis voter registration rules the states would have to adopt by the beginning of 1996. People would register, unless they chose not to, when they got or renewed a drivers’ license. There would be registration by mail and at government agencies, specifically including welfare and unemployment compensation offices. Behind the partisan dispute lies the fact that finding and registering voters has been a starting point in the political campaign process, with parties and candidates working to enroll the people most likely to vote their way. Republicans do not look for voters at welfare and unemployment offices. When the bill was before the House, a Democrat there said what it really involves is registering poor people. And they tend to vote Democratic. In the Senate, the chief sponsor, Sen. Wendell Ford. D-Ky., said it is elitist to argue that people who ars interested in voting will find out how to register. The GOP argument has bosn that the political parties ought to compete by persuading people to raglstar and thenjp to tho polls on Election Day. That promise is sanctioned in campaign finance laws, which permit the parties to raise and spend extra money for operations, including voter registration. The bill would change the process by assigning the government a far more activist role in voter registration. That first step would no longer be a competitive one; sponsors of the bill forecast that it would increase registration to about 90 percent of eligible voters, from the currently estimated 61 to 65 percent. Then, as Ford said, political parties and candidates would still have to persuade people to support them, and to actually turn out and vote. Despite Republican qualms, a broader, simpler registration process doesn’t guarantee Democratic advantage. Sen. Mark Hatfield of Oregon noted that his stats already has registration with driver licensing, and also has two Republican senators. Furthermore, while the changes would be national, they wouldn’t be revolutionary. Voters already register by mail in 27 states; there is some vtraion ofthe motor voter registration system in 27 and registration in tandem with other stats agency operations in 14. Most stats* have ens or mere of those features in their currant systems. In prior national elections, about 85 percent of the people who had registered to vote actually cast ballots. But that wouldn’t necessarily hold in a system that made registration next to automatic. Nor is there expert agreement on whether broader participation would alter many outcomes. But there is a record to indicate that when registration is simpler, turnouts are higher. The 1992 presidential election drew the votes of 55.9 percent of voting-age Americans, highest in 20 years, and in four states with Election Day voter registration, turnout was substantially higher. The whole argument is a replay of one waged a year ago, on an almost identical bill vetoed by President Bush. Republicans insist that it would invite fraud, let illegal aliens slip onto the voti <g rolls when they sign up to drive and stick states with another unwarranted federal mandate and millions of dollars in cotta. Democrats counter that it would cost no more than $20 million a year, with $7 million to $10 million in offsetting savings. Besides, they agy, this is about more than money. Walter ll Mean, vice president and columnist for The Associated Press, has reported on Washington and national politics far mare than SO years. ;