Explore parental choice at Southeast
I read with interest the story about graduation rates at Southeast High. We know that many faithful teachers, staff and administrators are laboring to give their best to those students. They merit our appreciation and prayers. But the system they work in also needs to be accountable.
If this were a Wichita business, it would be evaluated as missing the mark. That is not pointing a finger. It is simply a reality. Graduating under 50 percent of its four-year white and black male students. And what does the article say is the answer? More resources, in the form of counselors and support for at-risk students. Where else is missing targets rewarded with more resources — not in the marketplace, where the best ideas are refined by constant market pressures.
We should support those investing in these young people. We insure teachers receive market pay and the best among them receive excellent pay. We also need to explore enhancing parental choice and market forces — letting money move with students, especially those in the lowest-performing sectors — to demonstrate what works and bring accountability pressures to bear.
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Innovation comes best from market pressures in every sector of our economy. K-12 education should be no exception.
Cary Hill Humphries Jr.,
Cans to the carriers
Saturday, May 12, marks the 26th anniversary of the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp-Out Hunger Food Drive.
On the second Saturday each May, letter carriers across the country collect food donations. These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people most in need.
The food drive’s time is crucial, as food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the holidays. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.
When giving, please consider providing healthy options. Food insecurity often means that healthy choices are out of reach. When filling your bag for your letter carrier, please select canned fruit in juice, not syrup; low-sodium canned soups and vegetables; tuna in water, not oil; brown rice and whole-grain pasta.
Participating in the Letter Carriers’ Stamp-Out Hunger Food Drive is simple by leaving non-perishable food donations in a bag by your mailbox on May 12. Your letter carrier will do the rest.
Becky Tuttle, Wichita
With diplomacy and congressional authority, serve a piece of peace, please.
In light of the highly anticipated meeting of President Trump with President Kim Jong Un of North Korea, I am nervously optimistic. It is my hope that negotiations will be realized. Diplomacy is the only way to avoid loss of lives and devastating effects of nuclear war.
There are two things we can ask our congressmen to do to represent their constituents: 1. Seek long-term diplomacy; and 2. Insist that Congress reasserts its constitutional responsibility in requiring the president to have affirmative authority from Congress prior to declaration of war. They must be directly involved in any such decision.
Encourage our senators and representative to support these bills. This is not an issue of party affiliation. It is an action toward a world free of the threat of war.
Patrice Stephenson, Goddard
Kansas has the eighth-highest sales tax rate in the country.
We have the 15th-highest property taxes in the country.
Worse, we have the second-highest sales tax on food in the country.
Yet it seems the Legislature can’t get its act together to lower or eliminate sales tax on food. This week, for the eighth time, Rep. John Whitmer, R-Wichita, carried an amendment to the House floor to cut the sales tax. That effort was blocked on procedural grounds.
Kansas has the unfortunate distinction of having one of the highest sales-tax rates on groceries in the nation, which places an undue burden on low and middle-income Kansans. It is the ultimate form of regressive taxation, hurting those who are just trying to make ends meet.
I commend Whitmer for his efforts to help lower taxes. I support those efforts. Food sales tax remains too high.
Nat Roberts, Goddard
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