Letters to the Editor

Letters on moderates, charter schools, VA parking

Plight of moderates in primary season

Primary season has always been especially taxing for moderate voters. Candidates lack the time or patience to address the needs of the more cautious members within their party, choosing instead to make corrupting promises to the most rabid fraction of their base. This year is no different.

Kansans have grown accustomed to the infighting of the ruling Republican Party. The current battle playing out on the national stage over which candidate is the most conservative – and hence, the most Republican – isn’t anything new to us.

Democrats have historically been less prone to fractures within their party, but that period of civility has come to an ignominious end. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are now locked in a fierce debate over which is the most progressive, leaving moderate voters without anyone to represent their interests.

At this point in the election cycle, it feels quite foolish to hope for any candidate brave enough to say that they have any concerns regarding the fervent idiocy of their party’s fringes. Moderates will just have to wait until late July, when the convention winners lose their primary colors and adopt less radical plumage.

Adam D. Evans, Derby

Untold charter story

The Eagle featured a rather disturbing commentary touting charter schools (“State’s educational system lacks choice,” Feb. 19 Opinion) by Robert Litan, a former Brookings Institution economist who recently resigned his affiliation with the think tank after a violation of a policy rule. Litan mentioned paying more to highly effective teachers, the need for school choice and catering to low-income students with low-attainment records. He also stated that there are “award-winning nonprofit charter groups – such as KIPP, Success Academy and Uncommon Schools, to name a few – that give largely minority students from low-income backgrounds much better educations than traditional public schools.”

What lies untold is that those “award-winning” charter schools have had attrition rates of (overwhelmingly low achievers) as high as 60 percent (KIPP), and losses of as high as 74 percent of their teachers in a single year at some of their schools (Success Academy).

As a retired Wichita public school teacher, I can’t imagine how removing funding from public education – be it by cutting state budgets, transferring funding from public to private or charter schools, or by cutting taxes on business investments into private education – could possibly be “for the sake of our kids.”

Roger G. Neugent, Haysville

VA parking needed

I’m a veteran and I use the Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Wichita for my health care. For the most part, those I’ve dealt with there are good people who truly care about what they’re doing and do a good job.

They don’t like their time wasted, and their policy of sending written notifications of pending appointments as well as robocalls asking for confirmation of those appointments is a good one.

I try to honor my appointments by being there on time. If unable to attend, I call, cancel and reschedule as soon as is practical.

I missed a recent appointment – not because I wasn’t there in plenty of time, but because there wasn’t a parking place to be had. As I searched for a spot, I noticed the new addition being built. The thought crossed my mind that maybe they should put that project on hold and build a parking garage instead. I mean, how is increasing their capabilities going to help veterans if they don’t have enough parking to support the work that’s being done there now?

Jerry W. Davidson, Valley Center

Letters to the Editor

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Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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