In response to Sam Black's letter, "Try new way to cut prison costs, inmate population." I was with you until you got into the schooling. Making students finish high school is good, but you cannot force students to attend higher education.
After high school they are on their own unless you want our country to become socialistic with communist teachings.
I still believe that once you turn 18 years old it should be required each able-bodied man or woman enlist in the United States military for three years. They become disciplined, educated and receive a "work ethic" to become a productive citizen.
Then, at 21 years old, you can either get into the work force or go to college.
Why the military? Every citizen should give back to this republic and find out what it takes to keep this country free and realize nothing is "free." You have to earn it.
You want food stamps? Earn them by clocking in at the local Salvation Army, Goodwill store, City Hall, help wash fire trucks and police cars, walk the city streets and pick up trash and debris.
Same goes for any welfare program; earn it by working for local public facilities. You don't just sit around getting fat off society and hard-paid tax dollars.
Youths between the ages of 13-15 should be allowed to work on a farm learning hard work under supervision, or work in a large grocery store or any business willing to help the youth learn a work ethic. This program could be part of an economic training class in which an employer could train these young men or women four hours a day/twice a week for a total of eight hours a week until they graduate from high school.