Letters to the Editor

Letters on school funding, Common Core, Kochs, insurance costs, immigration reform, stolen billfold

Reasonable budget cuts are overdue

Our governor and state lawmakers need to establish once and for all an annual amount of funding per student, and then live up to and by it. Our courts are trying to ensure the law now in force.

As a taxpayer who pays 51 percent of my property tax to the school district, I’m discouraged by some of its expenditures. I believe reasonable cuts in budget are long overdue.

The bottom line is how educated students are when they graduate. Take a look online at the Saline County eighth grade final test of 1895. Will our college graduates of 2015 be able to pass this test?



Tests more complex

Pupil scores from the Common Core state standards tests are somewhat lower than from the No Child Left Behind mandated tests, but Common Core is more rigorous and complex. There are more test questions involving critical thinking, and this is the highest level of thought.

In everyday occasions, people make decisions on what is best to do in any situation. To think critically, the individual needs to sort out the accurate from the inaccurate, fantasy from reality, and the good from the bad.

There is different knowledge that pupils might show strength in, such as content and skills, in Common Core tests. The testing does not indicate how successful a carpenter, bricklayer or plumber – all very vital services – will become. Society needs many high-quality, well-educated individuals in different fields of endeavor to function well. Common Core test results are based upon how well pupils did objectives as stressed by the teacher in teaching/learning situations. Reading and mathematics cut across all academic areas as well as those needed at the workplace.


North Newton

Koch manipulation

The article on Charles Koch wanting to overhaul the justice system was a hoot (Dec. 28 Eagle). I especially liked the shift from Koch Industries’ trouble with the law to a polemic on poor people’s prison overcrowding. One winces at such public protestations of gullibility.

The Koch brothers have a long history of manipulation, whether it’s funding think tanks to produce TV talking heads to espouse their political agenda or their manipulation of tea parties to front their views of corporate deregulation. Mind you, this is all done in the name of freedom.

Also, how about trying to get the middle class to pay the wealthiest’s fair share of Kansas taxes? Not enough tax income to go around? No problem. Cut school budgets to help pay for it. The Kochs then makes a multimillion-dollar donation to Wichita State University – priceless.

Now Charles Koch wants to pollute the environment with impunity. In order to do so, he would like us all to believe he cares about poor people having access to lawyers and the rise in nonviolent prison population.



Not the answer

Based on my 42 years of insurance experience, I came to these conclusions: The majority of top insurance companies operate with a decent profit. Their premiums would be higher if not for investment income. There will always be the rip-off companies. The others are a victim of a system that does need overhauling.

The writer of “Why charged more?” (Dec. 19 Letters to the Editor) was correct in pointing out that drug companies are a bit of the problem. But a government-operated single-payer system is not the answer and would cost more, not less, except for certain groups.

A government-operated system is full of inequities and additional costs. It would require thousands of additional government employees. The government has never come close to doing anything more cheaply than private industry. The control of our lives should never be put in the federal government’s hands.



Better reason

I cannot believe some of the ignorant statements that some Republican lawmakers have made about President Obama’s executive action on immigration. One even said there will be anarchy in the streets if Obama enacts this executive action. Another said Obama should be jailed or impeached. Still another said the Constitution will be destroyed.

Where were these lawmakers when Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush signed similar executive action on immigration to keep illegal immigrant laborers in the country? Of course, those presidents acted to provide cheap labor for big business.

Obama’s executive action is for a far better reason – compassion for these people and their families.



Karma will bite you

To the person who took my billfold at the Dillons on East Harry on Dec. 8: I hope you enjoyed my money and had a good pizza party or a nice Christmas. But karma will come around and bite you when you least expect it.



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