Speak Out: Correctional office shortage, Education request

Correctional officer shortage

More than 10 percent of correctional officer jobs remain unfilled despite efforts from the state and complaints from the union, while probation and parole officers are calling for pay increases and protesting what they see as unfair treatment.

• They’re going to have a hard time filling those positions until they pay better. — Sherry Hirsch

•Suggestion for the CO shortage. My recent thought of converting to 12 hours didn’t work. How about this one. Low level non-violent inmates with less than three years on a sentence will need a job when they get out. Why not train them to be COs with many conditions on their employment. The CO academy could be held in the correctional center. The inmates know the “rules” of prison life. They know the system. Did I say they need a job? It might work. You have a captive audience to train. You have many carrots to dangle in front of the inmates to become successful in life. You have a system that needs fixing. I don’t know, just thinking. Once the system gets over its prejudice against people in the system and works with them it might just be a good source of workers. — Timmy Harmon

• Let’s say you find a fox has harassed your chickens, but you caught him without a fight. And after a while of locking it up, you set it free. You don’t put back in the chicken house to safeguard the chickens. The officers are sworn peace officers under Delaware law. There might be some states that put ex-cons to work in prisons, but Delaware is not one of them. — Guy Fowler

• I’ve been with the DOC for 20 years. You wanna put ex-cons to work as law enforcement officers? We have a hard enough time battling “dirty” officers already! As for the 12 hour shifts….you come do it! Not sure about out you but I for one enjoy spending time with my family. Best believe I will be looking to see how you “work with the system”. Try being the system! — Mike Pawlowski

Education request

Lawmakers questioned education and budget officials Thursday over the Department of Education’s proposed spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, seeking more information on the rapid growth of special education enrollment, funding for disadvantaged students and drug prevention education.

Public education makes up more than a third of the state’s $4.27 billion budget, with the Department of Education being allocated $1.48 billion in the current fiscal year. Gov. John Carney’s proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1 would earmark $1.56 billion for the agency, an increase of 5.5 percent over the current year.

• The important thing to remember is that this public investment needs to leverage other investments, innovation and collaboration among service providers to sustain student services. School districts need not try to create new positions, programs and services but instead partner with the non-profit community, the private sector and philanthropic community to create a sustainable plan. — Jim Purcell

• It seems a lot of people have lost good sense when it comes to to education and priorities. — Dave Johnson

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