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Letters to the editor on public education, gun control, compassion

  • Published Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 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.

Need to value public education

If you are already inclined to believe that school boards need “more flexibility” to impose additional requirements and responsibilities upon teachers and to reduce teaching staff to save money, then you probably already believe that public schools are overfunded and can function with substantially less money.

But as a quality military is expensive, requires state-of-the-art equipment, well-trained personnel, and both the financial and moral support of the taxpayers who pay for it, so it is for public education. Quality public schools are expensive for the same reasons any quality institution requires investment. When taxpayers lose the will to fund public education, there are social consequences, just as there would be if our country had a weak, underfunded military.

Many Kansas legislators are systematically attempting to defund public education. Weakening unions and eliminating collective-bargaining rights are merely the first steps in this process so that districts can consolidate teaching positions, increase class size and require teachers to do even more with less while the private sector saves a few dollars in income taxes.

Eliminating collective bargaining isn’t about “flexibility” or “doing what’s best for kids.” It might be convenient for school districts in the short term, but it would give the Legislature permission to avoid its responsibility to fund public education adequately. And the Legislature won’t spend money on public education if it doesn’t value public education.

STEVE MAACK

Wichita

Faulty reasoning

Once again, the fear of a legally armed “good guy” with the ability to defend himself and others was manifested in an Eagle editorial (“Gun-ban control,” March 8 Opinion). The final statement in the editorial, about lawmakers allowing guns anywhere except where they actually make the laws, was revealing about the lawmakers. I am aware of other states where you are allowed to carry in the Statehouse.

It is indicative of faulty reasoning that licensing trained and vetted citizens by the state of Kansas does not make them quite safe enough to be near the elite political class. Not that criminals care about all this one way or the other.

JIM KEENE

Wichita

No compassion

My opinion of Congress:

Two congressmen are looking out the window. One says to the other: “Look at that old guy down there trying to mow grass with a cast on his leg. If he had invested like we did, he could have paid someone to mow it for him.” The other replies, “You’re right; he is such a loser.”

A Christian couple are looking out the window. She says: “Oh, honey, look. That poor old man is trying to mow with a cast on his leg.” He replies, “You’re right; I’m going to go mow it for him.”

Compassion – too bad it’s not contagious.

WILLIAM A. NOLAND

Wichita

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