Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on teacher pay, the Cosmosphere and aviation security (Aug. 8, 2019)

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Teacher raises

Dr. Thompson and members of the USD 259 School Board:

For over a decade, the teachers of USD 259 have been expected to settle for what the board offered, first because of a recession, then because the Legislature chose to see public education as an institution not worth their serious attention, and overall because a court case hung fire waiting to decide what adequate funding is.

The recession is over; the Legislature has begun to change and a new governor sits in Topeka. Most important, the justices handed down their decision on adequate funding.

Now it is up to you to pay your teachers a professional wage. If most of the increase disappears into administration or carts of computers, you cannot claim that it has gone into the classrooms as the justices intended.

Why did classes start last year with many classrooms missing a full-time qualified teacher? Wichita does not pay its teachers competitive salaries. Veteran teachers and newly graduated educators go where they can earn a reasonable living.

It is time to offer more than a 3% raise. These people went without raises at all during the recession and with pitifully small raises later. Time’s up!

Vernette Chance, Wichita

Cosmosphere

The recent anniversary of the moon landing has me thinking. After the unfortunate departure of Boeing military, Wichita and even all of Kansas has lost its significance. Are we really the Air Capital of the World anymore? So much of that industry left. If we were to bring the Cosmosphere to Wichita and merge it with Exploration Place along the river, I think it would give Wichita a much needed change.

The Cosmosphere is currently such a long drive away from any major city. If gas prices are high, people won’t make the trip, and the Cosmosphere probably doesn’t get as many visitors now as it would in Wichita.

If we were to bring the Cosmosphere here to Wichita, then Kansas could become more than just fly-over country, it could become an attraction to educate and inspire young minds, to be in awe about the wonder of flight and to inspire generations to reach for the stars.

Crystal Cross, Wichita

Airplane security

A recent Associated Press story (“US issues hacking security alert for small planes,” July 31 Eagle) missed some key points about small-airplane security.

First, the article pointed to a recent Department of Homeland Security notice, inferring it was focused only on cybersecurity concerns for small, “general aviation” aircraft, when the fact is, the notice applies to all aircraft.

Second, the story arguably misrepresented the nature of the potential security breach involved. For example, the piece failed to fully explain that for the scenario to occur, an individual would need to actually board an aircraft, dismantle its avionics system, locate a certain, small piece of technology and effectively disable it.

The reason such a relatively complex scenario hasn’t unfolded – the reason TSA audits have never found general aviation airplanes to be a security concern – is that the industry has always made security a top priority, with a host of measures that harden aircraft from threats. An Airport Watch program includes a toll-free reporting number directly to the TSA. Pilots carry tamper-resistant, government issued ID, and passengers on many general aviation flights undergo strict background checks. The government cross-checks records for airmen, and monitors aircraft sales to find suspicious activity.

Ed Bolen, president of the NBAA

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