Letters to the editor on social-service cuts, new science standards

01/14/2013 2:50 PM

01/14/2013 2:50 PM

Can’t rationalize social-service cuts

The Eagle deserves thanks and praise for its continued excellent reporting on the plight of the poor, handicapped and mentally ill, and the children in our community. It is so gratifying to see a newspaper fulfilling its civic duty.

Those of us who work and give as volunteers with these people have seen devastating cuts in federal and state funding, necessitating draconian measures to attempt to balance budgets, avoid debt and care for those who cannot care for themselves. But our efforts are limited. As The Eagle reported, we are losing the battle as the numbers of those needing help go up and the dollars go down.

At a public meeting early last year, I told the governor I felt the cuts were “brutal,” and the word was quoted by The Eagle. As a Christian, I know I am duty bound to have a “preferential option for the poor,” in the words of John Paul II. This comes directly from the Gospels, and I fail to understand how anyone can rationalize what is happening, worse yet support those responsible. Example: Rich people get a nice tax cut this year from Topeka – a government priority at the expense of the needy.

We will be held accountable.

ALFRED JAMES III

Bel Aire

Look at standards

The second public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is now available for feedback. As a lead state in developing these standards, Kansas has a broad stakeholder team – including representation from K-12 educators, postsecondary scientists and science educators, and science and engineering professionals – that has been providing feedback over multiple previous drafts, and the Kansas State Board of Education has agreed to give serious consideration to adopting these standards as the state science standards. For more information about the review process, please visit www.ksde.org/science and click on the Next Generation Science Standards tab.

Over the past decade or more, science standards in Kansas have produced a great deal of discussion at both the state and national levels, so we want to encourage all citizens to take a look at these prospective standards. The draft can be found at www.nextgenscience.org. This site also provides information on the Framework for K-12 Science Education, written by the National Research Council, which is the foundation for this standards development process. It is important for those providing feedback on the NGSS to at least read the report brief of the Framework prior to review, as this document lays out the vision for the standards.

The window for public review and comment will be open until close of business on Jan. 29. This is the last opportunity for those passionate about science education to provide input on the NGSS.

BRIAN COLE

Board member

Kansas Association of Teachers of Science

Sabetha

Show you care

I am all for bettering education and helping children, but I do not understand how a politician, or anyone else, can claim to be a Christian and not help the helpless. The frail and elderly, mentally ill and most disabled keep losing benefits while others gain. Is that Christian?

Many of the elderly had to raise their children without any help from the government. There were many times in the past when jobs were very hard to find and the economy was bad. Take a look at how we fought to keep our country free in World War II.

If you have elderly parents or know elderly, mentally ill or disabled individuals, please visit them and let them know that you care, even if you cannot do anything financially. They need to know that someone cares about them.

CELIA CHACE

Wichita

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