Reduce federal role in education
Regarding “School vouchers fair to everyone” (Feb. 23 Letters to the Editor): The one thing that many people haven’t thought about is that with voucher money there will certainly come demands.
There are few government programs that distribute money without also telling you how to use it. There will be compliance issues that will eventually bind private schools to the same things that public schools are bound by law to comply with now.
In the long run, this compliance issue will have a negative effect on private schools, just as it has had on public schools.
Our real problem is that the federal government has become too powerful in the education formula. Locally run school systems educated the individuals who produced most of the progress and filled most of the jobs of the 19th and 20th centuries. Only after the federal government got much more involved in the 1960s did we start to see the beginnings of the problems we have today.
Put local and state school boards back in the driver’s seat, and many of the problems will be solved. It won’t happen overnight. But as long as the federal government preaches a one-size-fits-all formula that requires burdensome compliance, public school systems will struggle to keep their heads above water.
Bill Leistiko, Wichita
Let parents choose
“Wrong direction” (Feb. 26 Letters to the Editor) contained a statement that says everything you need to know about liberals’ view of the average American citizen. The writer said that parents aren’t well equipped to identify the best school for their children.
Liberals are so convinced of the stupidity of the American taxpayer that they feel a government bureaucracy should make decisions for us.
The letter writer went on to tout our public schools as “a highly successful and proud institution.” Successful? Ever been to an inner-city public school in Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles or any one of thousands of public schools that mandate students walk through metal detectors before they can enter the school? Ever been to Baltimore or Cleveland, where a low percentage of students graduate from high school?
Why should those who live in these neighborhoods be forced to send their children to failing schools, while wealthier people can afford to send their children to outstanding schools?
Inner-city schools have been failing children for decades, and it is folly to think that anything will change unless there is a dramatic shift in how our children are educated. The first step to giving these children a better future is allowing parents the ability to choose which school their children will attend.
Chuck Jones, Wichita
I must give University of Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self credit. His recent explanation of the Josh Jackson situation at KU contained enough obfuscations, irrelevancies and spin to rival any politician (March 14 Sports).
“Hell no” was his response when asked if there was any reason freshman guard Jackson shouldn’t continue playing basketball due to recent legal infractions. His assertion that “you don’t know, I don’t know … nobody knows” what transpired was laughable. It begs the question: What do you know?
We do know that Jackson vandalized a car, because he admitted as much. We do know that a member of the KU women’s basketball team was suspended in relation to this same incident.
Do you sense a double standard? Self says that Jackson was disciplined “in-house.” That’s code for “anything to keep him on the basketball court.”
Not to worry, though, because Self will get to keep his prized, pampered, one-and-done prima donna on the court to make a run in the NCAA tournament. After that, Jackson will have served his purpose, and Self will be “done” with him.
Terry McManis, Wichita
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch believes that the wealthiest should speak louder than the rest of us. We deserve a Supreme Court justice who shares our cherished democratic value of equality.
Urge our Kansas senators, Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, to stand firm on the side of political equality and fairness by opposing Judge Gorsuch’s nomination.
Americans deserve a Supreme Court that will act as the last line of defense from wealthy special interests and unaccountable politicians, not another advocate for the wealthy and powerful.
Jane Byrnes, Wichita
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