Demand the best from teachers
School districts tell us they need massive budget increases so they can hire and retain highly qualified teachers. Does this mean that the school districts are going to fire substandard teachers to make room for these highly qualified teachers?
Are they going to commit to pay exceptional teachers exceptional salaries and average teachers average salaries, or are they going to pay teachers solely by education level and years of service as they do now? That’s a sure way to turn an exceptional teacher into a mediocre teacher.
In return for the additional half a billion dollars taxpayers will be giving schools, it isn’t unreasonable that we insist that it be easier to fire substandard teachers and that salary increases only go to those teachers that have proven themselves to be the best in their district.
Simply raising salaries across the board may attract more teachers, but very few of them will be “highly qualified.”
Chuck Jones, Wichita
Volunteer installing smoke alarms
More than 2,500 people die in home fires across the nation every year. We want people to help “Sound the Alarm” in Wichita and join the nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires.
As a board member of the South Central Southeast Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross, I want to invite people to volunteer for the Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 5. Those who are interested in helping educate people about home fire safety and install free smoke alarms, should visit Sound the Alarm Wichita. The Red Cross will furnish needed materials.
In the Wichita area, the Red Cross responded to 263 fires in the past year. Too many of these fires have caused significant property damage and serious injuries to individuals and families. Please help us Sound the Alarm by volunteering, making a financial contribution or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.
Deb Brinegar, Wichita
We can help Mother Earth
With the celebration of Earth Day last Sunday, I am joyful but cautious.
Each morning I awake to hearing the little birdies twitter. I take in a deep breath of fresh, crisp, air and start my morning chores. I am grateful that I have the freedom to explore, savor, and protect my little patch of heaven here in Wichita.
I am cautious because I know things are changing. Our dependence on fossil fuels and using up resources at a faster rate than what we are replacing it with, is causing crippling effects around the world. I don’t see it too much here in Kansas — I am one of the lucky ones.
I respect our Mother Earth, and as a way to slow down the rate at which we are destroying our ecosystems, I am pushing for a carbon fee and dividend approach to solve these issues. Let’s give the power back to the people.
We have the freedom to choose how we consume. Let’s love our Mother and place a fee on carbon.
Alisha Gridley, Wichita
During the Vietnam War, we loudly and visibly protested military costs of a losing war which underfunded our education, health care and housing needs. But now we are quiet about the U.S. budget for fiscal year 2019, which allocates 47 percent of our taxes for military costs, including inadequate cleanup of past wars.
That exceeds the 43 percent of our income taxes for education, medical, food stamps and other human needs. President Trump recommends even more billions for Pentagon spending (which fails audits). Somebody, but not us, is profiting from budget-busting, failing military “solutions.”
Unfortunately, many Kansans affected by insufficient funding for public schools, prisons and health coverage are not reading these pages. Could those who know that needed people and income taxes are wasted on immoral civilian-killing wars work on some political changes?
Stanley Bohn, North Newton
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