WHEN I BOUGHT my home in 1990, I knew that I was required to pay property (school) taxes. This was done with the knowledge that it would support the public-school system, not the public, charter and now cyber schools. Since the school district has the authority to put a lien on the property for failure to pay, you are essentially leasing your home.

My idea to eliminate property taxes and improve public education is this:

* First, raise the earned-income and sales tax. This way everyone including renters pays.

* Second, get rid of the nonprofits and make them pay something. Eliminate the 10-year tax abatements and Keystone Opportunity Zones for corporations and make them pay from the start.

* Third, charge multibillion-dollar corporations, like Comcast, GE, pharmaceuticals and the insurance companies of the world, an Education Surcharge Tax. Let the think tanks out there figure out the percentage. Aren't these the same companies that will hire future graduates?

* As for education, consolidate schools and make them all private. Charge tuition and make families pay something. With a little skin in the game, students will become learners. Subsidize lower-income families and create schools for the special-needs kids.

Pay all teachers the same but fair salary, more if they have a master's or doctorate. Create 401(k) plans for new teachers, since the current pension plan is likely to go bankrupt and is unsustainable.

Get rid of standardized testing. It doesn't work.

Why is it that schools like Friends' Central, Germantown Academy and Malvern Prep graduate 95 to 100 percent of students and send them off to college? At the very least, the public schools should adopt the curriculum of the privates, since no one complains that private-school kids aren't learning.

It's a fact that over the past 25 years, the population of students has gone down and administrators has gone up more than 200 percent.

The money saved on property taxes will put more dollars in the pockets of homeowners and just might spur economic growth.

Dan Dvorak

Phoenixville, Pa.

Wisdom of Solomon

To Solomon Jones: I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your weekly column in the Daily News. I look forward to reading them and in many instances relating, remembering, reminiscing and just feeling good.

So much of what you write about and express regarding your parents, grandparents and your childhood memories takes me back over the many years. I grew up at 37th and Warren, and then took up roots at 50th and Brown.

I remember we had marble steps and how we washed them every Saturday, the neighbors would be out, coffee would be served.

We waited on the ice man to come bring that block of ice.

The milkman delivered the milk in bottles with cream on the top.

Children were respectful and belonged to all.

If one parent reported bad behavior to another, you didn't get shot, you got thanked.

Punishment was two months of sitting on the front steps.

School lunches were meals prepared in the school's kitchen and cooked appropriately.

I could go on and on.

Just thanking you, Solomon.

Annette Griffin Bush

Philadelphia

Shirt hit the fan

Re: the family escorted from the King of Prussia Mall because of obscenity-laced T-shirts and hats.

While I truly have heartfelt sympathy for what the family is enduring after the loss of someone so close and special, I was somewhat troubled by the message written on the shirts and hats.

Anger is most certainly a part of the grieving process after loss, but sometimes we must channel that anger in the process of healing. Cancer is most certainly not something we often associate with positivity. The "C" word invokes pain, anguish, fear and, yes, anger.

However, there are some other words that I associate with the pain: hope, grace and faith. Hope to know that a cure will be found; grace to help my loved one endure the physical and mental pain; and faith to know that in spite of it all, God is going to see me through it.

While many, including this family and mine, have suffered loss to this disease, I really don't believe that taking a symbol and using it to promote such vitriol is the answer.

I applaud their donation to a charity from the profits; however, why not channel that anger and bitterness into joining forces with the originator of the symbol - the Susan G. Komen Foundation. There are so many support groups and charities that provide positive influences in the face of this disease.

Please take a negative and turn it into a positive, with words of hope and love - and not take a symbol that has become a beacon of light to so many people who have suffered through this disease and turn it into an angry soapbox.

Lenise Johnson

Philadelphia