Students being held hostage by politics
While attending oral arguments last week before the Kansas Supreme Court, I was shocked to hear the state suggest that instead of complying with the court order to equalize funding among school districts, the court could abolish the portion of school financing known as the local option budget. The state was suggesting that school districts could open in August with no guarantee of funding to complete the year or fulfill contract obligations.
I am president of the Goddard school board. The idea of operating our district with incomplete budget funding with the promise from the Legislature that it will fix this when it meets again in January is simply inconceivable. The Legislature has time after time failed to live up to its promises to adequately and equitably fund Kansas schools.
This issue is not about money. The governor has already raided the state transportation fund of more than $1.7 billion in six short years, and could easily sweep another $38 million and resolve the issue. No, this issue is all about falsely blaming the Supreme Court for doing its constitutional duty, with the goal of having four of the justices not retained in the November election. That would allow the governor to appoint new justices, effectively “packing the court.”
It is tragic that 460,000 K-12 students, their parents and the many businesses that supply goods and services to the 286 districts in Kansas are being held hostage to the politics of the governor and his Legislature.
Kevin R. McWhorter, Wichita
Regarding “Ike display at the airport is in the works” (May 8 Now Consider This): Republican Party leaders should honor Dwight D. Eisenhower by accomplishing goals he set for the party long ago.
Eisenhower’s 1956 political platform declared: “The purpose of the Republican Party is to establish and maintain a peaceful world and build at home a dynamic prosperity in which every citizen fairly shares. We shall ever build anew, that our children and their children, without distinction because of race, creed or color, may know the blessings of our free land.” It continued: “We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs – expansion of social security, broadened coverage in unemployment insurance, improved housing, and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people.”
The platform also included providing asylum for refugees, protecting workers’ rights, extending the minimum wage, and ensuring equal pay for equal work regardless of sex. Those are worthy goals for our Republican Party leaders today.
JC Moore, Kechi
Trump has energy
While many parents were sending their little boys to law school so they might become legislators and possibly become president, Frederick C. Trump was teaching his little boy how to build skyscrapers out of bricks. Instead, Donald Trump built them out of steel and glass.
Estimates of Trump’s inheritance from his father’s estate range upward from $40 million. Forbes now estimates Trump’s real time net worth at a remarkable $4.5 billion.
Critics say he is a poor businessman because he declared bankruptcy four times. More accurately, he invested with a consortium of investors, who as a group declared bankruptcy in order to make windfall profits by taking advantage of the way some bankruptcy laws were written. If elected, this new president has promised to expose and repeal those very laws.
People believe that if you finance certain politicians in Washington, D.C., you can have advantages that the rest of society will probably never be able to afford. Trump says that he does not want your money because he has his own.
Voters have been turning out in droves, believing in him and asking this one man to change the system. He seems to be the only one who has the energy, and this is the year of the “outsider.”
Richard L. Jones, Derby
GOP ‘built that’
The theme of the first night of the 2012 Republican National Convention was the phrase “We built that,” a response to an out-of-context quote by President Obama reaffirming that the greatness of our communities lies in both individual and group initiatives. The keynote speaker, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, celebrated her state’s homesteaders, ignoring federal rescue of Dust Bowl farmers or significant petroleum tax breaks.
Fast-forward four years, past a broken pledge to become a more welcoming party. Some like Fallin and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach have embraced Donald Trump, while others such as Gov. Sam Brownback have held their noses and said they will support whoever is the “Republican nominee.”
But Trump only exists because these same figures have constructed or been complicit with the birther movement, Muslim and immigrant fearmongering, out-of-context quotes, and opaque campaign financing.
So, applaud Republicans who buck their party and oppose an ill-tempered candidate who mocks the disabled and practically everyone else.
But those Republicans who oppose Trump but do not become honest brokers in our political commonwealth deserve to have the Trump millstone hung around their political futures as much as Kobach, because they cannot deny: “We built that.”
Chris Curtis, Andover
Hillary Clinton will be the next president of these United States. Here is what you can expect:
She will be re-elected to a second term. She will embroil the United States in not one but two new wars. She will raise your taxes to pay for these wars. By the time these wars end, everyone will know someone who died in them.
Your personal freedoms will be mercilessly sacrificed on the altar of security. Her reign will be marked with scandals, like her husband’s was.
But if you are willing to be substantially poorer, and you don’t mind losing a young family member or friend, and if you don’t care to own a firearm for sport or protection, then she’s the candidate for you.
Lonnie Long, Wichita
Shame on President Obama and his so-called Justice Department. They have ordered all public schools in the United State to allow access to all bathrooms no matter what your sex is. This is to please a very small group of transgender people. The Obama administration could withhold money from states that do not comply.
The state of Texas announced that it will not comply. I am waiting for our governor to do the same thing.
This is a dangerous policy for our children and will open the door for kids to be exposed to some dangerous people. This could mean boys and girls would be in the same locker rooms, showers and bathrooms. How could any sensible parent or grandparent be in support of this policy?
If this policy continues to be mandatory, I am recommending that all parents remove their kids from the public schools. They should consider home schooling and Christian schools or private school to protect their children. This issue should not be taken lightly. We must protect our families, especially our children, at all costs. It is time to take a stand.
Terry Fox, Wichita
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