Drivers ed fee increase looks worthwhile

My son is nearing time to take drivers education in his public school. The $50 fee seems like a bargain. Now Legislators are considering a plan to raise those fees to offset their boneheaded proposal to cut other vital services to support pay hikes for teachers, which are long overdue. Transportation services are high on the list of proposed cuts. Bad idea.

When I was in high school, in the mid-1970s, drivers ed was free. Typically, physical education teachers got the call. (Mine didn’t do such a good job, which is another story.) Now the fee is $50, but Republicans propose raising that fee to as much as $300. I can afford that, although it doesn’t make me happy. Other parents can’t, but it seems there must be ways to make provisions for them.

All this is part of the ongoing debate about GOP-led plans to cut essential services in our schools to pay for teacher pay hikes. Bravo on the pay hikes, but shame on the Republicans who would gut other programs to cover the cost.

We need good young drivers on our roads. It’s reasonable to pay for their education, even with a proposed fee increase. Those who can’t handle the cost can receive hardship consideration.

The attitude by Republic legislators to seek increases in teacher pay but cutting important programs is getting more and more curious — and very old at the same time.

Keep the raises in place. Raise revenues to cover the cost. It’ll be painful for some, but it’s a small price to pay in the end.

Meanwhile, give a honk and a thumbs up next time you pass a student in a drivers ed car. It might make his or her day. They’re under enough pressure already.

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