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Letters to the editor on school funding, Ballinger, Norton, Ward, Pompeo, Kochs

  • Published Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

School funding is outrageous

Periodically, The Eagle has an editorial promoting increased funding of K-12 public schools (“Both cut school funds,” Oct. 17 Eagle Editorial). The editorials usually do not contain information as to the budget and deficiencies. However, over the years I have taken the budget for USD 259 and the state and divided it by the total number of students, coming up with more than $12,000 per pupil. The total has slightly increased each year.

Compared with the cost of education in private and church-related schools, this sum is outrageous, especially when one considers the academic skill of many recent graduates. In addition, about 1 in 4 does not graduate. One can understand why our governor established a school efficiency task force that excluded members of the education establishment. Again, The Eagle editorial board objected (“Task force has rocky start,” Oct. 18 Eagle Editorial).

In light of the success of children educated under the voucher system, this option should be considered. Public funding might even save money, if the sum of the tuition and state contribution was less than $12,000.

I hope the task force can effect changes that will produce a world where all students graduate and are prepared for either higher education or a successful vocation.

RICHARD GILMARTIN

Wichita

Rating anonymous

Todd Tiahrt wrote concerning The Eagle and Wichita Bar Association survey of lawyers that gave Sedgwick County District Court Judge Richard Ballinger high ratings and his opponent in this election, Zoe Newton, low ratings: “Is it surprising that lawyers who may have cases before the sitting judge would rank his opponent lower? No” (“Elect Newton,” Oct. 22 Letters to the Editor).

Tiahrt’s opinion assumes that the survey was set up so Ballinger would know which lawyers rated him and what ratings those lawyers gave him. Not true. The survey was done completely anonymously. Ballinger doesn’t know which lawyers responded or how any particular lawyer rated him or Newton.

What is true is this – 35 judicial candidates were rated anonymously by hundreds of Wichita lawyers. Ballinger’s overall ranking was seventh out of 35. Newton’s overall ranking was 34th out of 35 – next to dead last.

No wonder Tiahrt is so desperate to explain away that outcome.

STEPHEN M. JOSEPH

Wichita

Re-elect Norton

Please join me in voting to re-elect Tim Norton to the Sedgwick County Commission.

I’ve known Norton for several years and admire his extended knowledge about complicated issues, his consensus-building approach that gets things done, and his ability to manage the challenging budget while staying true to a long-range vision benefiting this community I call home. He is fair, open-minded, thoughtful and inclusive in his leadership.

I’m registered as an “unaffiliated” voter, which has encouraged me to seek out political candidates who are balanced and hardworking, and who care about the community and work to do the right thing. Given this criteria, Tim Norton certainly has my vote – and my confidence.

KENNETH FRIEDEL

Wichita

Ward needed

State Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, is a leader of uncompromising integrity. Ward has a long history of working for our neighborhoods. On the Wichita City Council, he led the fight to save the John Mack Bridge. On the Wichita school board, he fought for Linwood Park.

Ward understands it takes working with Republicans and Democrats to solve problems. We need more leaders like Ward.

I will be voting for Jim Ward to represent the new Kansas House District 86.

BILL DAVIS

Wichita

Vote for Pompeo

Obamacare is the worst piece of legislation ever to pass both the U.S. House and the Senate and be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in my lifetime. U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, has voted to repeal it, and he will do so again next year when we return him to Washington, D.C. God bless him for that.

There has never been a more desperate time for America. With the economy down and unemployment up, and a president who flouts the Constitution and what it stands for, it is important to have people like Pompeo representing us in Congress.

I want a member of Congress who believes in the Constitution, who upholds our freedoms, and who will fight to get big government out of our way. For two years, Pompeo has done exactly that. Voting for him this November will ensure that we have at least one member of Congress who will help put America back on the right track.

SALLY STUMP

Wichita

Not selfless

Regarding “Saving nation” (Oct. 21 Letters to the Editor): It is commendable that the Koch brothers are willing to accept “significant risks” in their tireless pursuit to defeat President Obama in order to help preserve the future of our nation. That being said, I cannot help but wonder where the Koch brothers and the tea partiers were when the Bush administration was leading our nation into this deep, dark economic hole. Was the preservation of our nation’s future less urgent because a Republican administration was in charge?

It appears to be partisan politics at work here rather than selfless sacrifice. And this entire argument against Obama and his policies reeks of sour grapes by disgruntled Republicans who refuse to accept the 2008 presidential election result.

RALPH PAULK

Wichita

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