I read with dismay the letter reducing the battle over teacher pay to class warfare between "working people in general, including teachers, and the powerful and wealthy leaders of the military-industrial complex" ("Wars taking money from education," Sunday). She said, "The money that should be subsidizing local spending is being siphoned off at an accelerating rate to fund wars and weapons that people increasingly regard as needless and wasteful."

Some people regard those wars and weapons as "needless and wasteful," but not our current president, our former president, or a great number of very competent experts who have advised both of them. Furthermore, lots of people, me included, find it more than a little irritating that teachers seem to be gaining pay and benefits significantly faster than the general population of working people.

I agree that teachers are a deserving, hardworking group, important to society, and that too significant a shift in the other direction would not be a good thing. But, the belief that we engage al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorists and terror-supporting groups mainly because of the influence of Daddy Warbucks types is extremely naïve and cynical, and does little to foster intelligent debate about what pay and benefits teachers should receive.

John M. Baxter