Funding for schools?

Our country is still a leader in overcoming religious and ethnic conflict, and our success stems from a common language and culture. This commonality is established in large part by our public schools. But President Bush is now threatening this by his education plan; he wants in effect to take money from public schools to send children to schools of their parents' choice.

Think of the implications of Mr. Bush's proposal. Separating children will deny them the opportunity to learn how to get along with children of other religions or ethnic origins. We could fragment our nation by educating our future citizens solely along the beliefs and values of religious, social, or political groups. Trying to police the classrooms of private schools to meet national standards would be a bureaucratic and legal nightmare.

We, as a nation, are benefited by a rich religious and ethnic diversity, but only within the framework of our common culture and language. President Bush's education plan would undermine that framework. Ernest J. Breton, Duluth, Minn.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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