Kansas has a long and proud history of valuing education. Our pioneer forefathers were quick to build schools for each and every community and gave full support to their teachers and the children’s activities. The community often became centered around the school. Within a few counties of where I live we can boast a Nobel Prize winner, an Olympic basketball player, an astronaut and numerous internationally-known musicians, artists and scholars.
Unfortunately, this proud history is being threatened. To solve budgetary woes caused by decreasing taxes (often for the most wealthy), plans are being made to make up the enormous shortfalls by quite literally robbing our public school system. The proposed solution includes plans to:
Cut teachers’ salaries
Cut teaching positions (thus raising student numbers in many classrooms)
Take money from teachers’ retirement funds
Cut the gifted programs
Cut English-As-a-Second-Language programs
These and many other proposals all serve to destroy our proud educational heritage. While these plans may send some dollars toward financial shortfalls, the end result will be that our teachers will be discouraged, leave this state and the students exiting our schools will struggle to be any more than mediocre.
Please, please, return to the attitudes of our Kansas pioneers. Return to enhancing rather than destroying our educational systems.