Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on LGBTQ students, state budget and Iran (June 22, 2019)

LGBTQ students

In the 1950s, white people who considered themselves decent, God-fearing citizens fought hard against desegregation. They were ignorant and afraid of what integration would mean for the culture to which they were accustomed. Those times were full of hate and fear and now we look back, appalled at how people could be so hateful and so afraid of other humans, no different in dignity or biology than themselves.

Now, it is 2019 and I am writing to ask that you stand up in support of another marginalized group: LGBTQ students. Like black students entering segregated schools, LGBT kids have also been called slurs by fellow students and have seen disdain in the eyes of adults. We need inclusive policies that specifically include gender identity and sexual orientation. We need district-wide training for educators, so they understand the challenges LGBTQ kids face and can work to meet their needs too.

Too many school leaders have hesitated, fearing fallout from the same kind of people who stood staunchly against desegregation in the 1950s. In the meantime, our kids stand by, wondering when they will be deemed worthy of safe inclusive schools in the eyes of the district.

Lisa Kilmer, Wichita

State budget

Contrary to Ed Flentje’s fanciful take on state budget conditions (“Kansas’ finances have come a long way since 2016,” June 7 Eagle) Kansans are being set up for another crushing tax increase. State finances are not “on the mend” as he claims; projections from Kansas Legislative Research show a $1.36 billion deficit over the next four years.

Why? Because Gov. Laura Kelly is already spending $1.34 billion more than record-setting tax revenue over that period and she wants to spend a lot more. Think Medicaid expansion.

Here’s how the tax hike will happen.

At the opening of the 2021 legislative session, a big budget deficit will suddenly be discovered. Somehow it will be Sam Brownback’s fault, and a tax increase will be proposed as the fiscally responsible thing to do – for the kids, you know. Pundits will sagely nod approval, and all will be well across the land. Except it won’t.

We’re already experiencing the negative effects of tax-and-spend schemes. Kansas had the 5th worst growth in personal income last year. Private sector jobs declined in 2017 and last year’s growth was only about half the national rate. Employers will continue struggling to find qualified employees as student achievement remains stubbornly low and flat despite billions more pumped into schools.

Kansans can’t afford more of these spend-and-tax schemes.

Dave Trabert, Wichita

Iran tensions

The only way to ratchet down the tension with Iran is for the United States to honor the deal we and the rest of the world signed in 2015. Remove the US re-imposed sanctions and stop telling our allies who they can’t trade with. Of course our Tweeter and Chief would rather than die than do that so there is no doubt others will die instead in the conflict that is sure to come.

We had an agreement with Iran, flawed as it might have been, but it was an agreement. I frankly don’t know where we get the gall to tell any nation they can’t have nukes considering we’re the only ones who have ever used them. But an agreement we had. Tit-for-tat isn’t pretty, but then neither is war but it appear both sides are making the stupid moves, blowing up tankers on one side or imposing crippling sanction on the other that will inevitably lead to just that. But it would appear Mr. Chaos in the White house knows no other way to conduct business at home and globally. How sad for us and the world.

Kathleen Butler, Wichita

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