Letters to the editor on private school tax breaks, virtual schools, guns, Obamacare, Stallworth
04/04/2014 12:00 AM
04/03/2014 5:51 PM
No more state tax breaks
I once asked my childless-by-choice sister if she resented paying taxes to educate other people’s children. Her reply: “Of course not. I may not have kids, but it behooves me not to be surrounded by stupid people.” Good answer.
So it stands to reason that people who choose to homeschool or send their kids to private school should not get a tax break. The majority of American parents don’t have the luxury of not working so they can stay home and educate their kids, nor do they have the means to send their kids to private schools. And those who can afford to do those things should not get a pass on paying taxes for the children in public schools because folks like Sen. Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, think they’re being “double taxed” (April 2 Eagle).
All of us are taxed for state programs some of us will never use. I, for one, am happy to pay for public education even though my children graduated from the system in 1998 and 2001.
What I am not happy about is a comment from a small-business owner who thanked “gullible” fellow Kansans for paying for his trip to St. Thomas because he no longer has to pay state income taxes (April 2 Opinion Line). That “job creator” tax break was the doing of Abrams and his Republican buddies, led by that supply-side resident of Cedar Crest. Please, no more tax breaks.
I’m a big-time believer in the effectiveness of virtual schools. Ours has been a tremendous option for all four of my sons, including my oldest son who went on to college with a scholarship in community service. Of my three younger sons who currently attend their virtual school, one has attention deficit disorder and Asperger’s syndrome, and requires specialized attention. Another son has thrived at the online school – he was named class president this year and will be accepted into the National Honor Society this month.
Our family is a perfect example of the wide range of needs and academic opportunity an online curriculum can provide and attend to. For this reason, I am dismayed to hear that public virtual school students continue to receive, on average, $7,000 less per year than students who attend traditional schools. Are my children any less deserving of equal funding? I don’t think so, and Topeka lawmakers shouldn’t, either.
I’ve heard that where there are more guns, people are safer. This is an absurd statement. A quick perusal of gun deaths in the United States as compared with the gun deaths in Great Britain will dissuade anyone of that notion. Surely danger becomes more likely in a society where everyone is armed.
Are the streets of this country so dangerous that everyone, or even a majority, must carry weapons? Obviously not. I understand the mind-set of precaution, but precautions such as avoiding bad situations, being knowledgeable of your surroundings, and knowing when to de-escalate an argument seem more reasonable than deadly force.
Also, what does the message that we all need a gun say to our children? It tells them that their country is dangerous and that vigilante justice is more important than the rule of law. What does it say of a first-world country like the United States that we’re so scared of one another?
Crime does happen, and people have the right to defend themselves. However, we can combat crime without submitting to the fear it induces. Increasing the amount of deadly weapons on the street only increases the violence in our society.
Part D problems
Those trashing Obamacare and the rollout fiasco would do well to remember when Medicare Part D rolled out in 2003 and was itself a fiasco. It was also a Republican-led Medicare add-on. Did the Democrats whine and call for it to be rescinded? Nope. They worked with the Republicans, and now it’s working just fine. A simple Internet search for “Medicare Part D rollout fiasco” will more than prove the hypocrisy of those trashing Obamacare.
JOHN D. EKSTROMER
Regarding “Little early for Early’s ultimate honor” (March 30 Sports): I practiced against David Stallworth every day and watched him play from the best seat in the house. To compare his numbers to those of any other Wichita State University player does both Stallworth and the player a tremendous disservice.
Yes, there was a cast of great players around Stallworth: Jamie Thompson, Dave Leach, Kelly Pete, Nate Bowman, John Criss, Vernon Smith and Melvin Reed, to name a few. However, Stallworth’s strength was never in his numbers. His game was the greatest ever played in Henry Levitt Arena. I mean every game.
He would play any position against any opponent and dominate. He could dunk on 7-footers as if they were not there. His speed and catlike moves inside were a wonder to watch. God endowed Stallworth with a multitude of skills.
We have seen many great players come out of the Shocker tunnel. We will probably never see one again with the heart and soul of this man.
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