Recently, state Sen. Patty Ritchie started a petition to oppose Gov. Cuomo's Feb. 16 proposal to provide opportunities for the incarcerated to work toward earning a college degree. Perhaps many in the North Country felt the governor's proposal was a "slap in the face." After all, the region's unemployment rates are 2 to 3 points above the national average, we struggle to fund our children's college education, and we worry whether our rural schools will be able to provide enough resources to ensure they have a high-quality elementary and secondary school education. However, it may seem shortsighted to oppose the governor's proposal.