Archive for Wednesday, January 19, 2000

Letters

January 19, 2000

Council's leadership lauded
To the editor:

I was glad to see the positive leadership noted in our last Mirror by the City Council. The action on junk cars that for years have reflected poorly on the general welfare of Tonganoxie are finally going to be cleaned up. The Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce is working hard to provide the metropolitan area with an updated image of Tonganoxie. We have so much to be proud of. The VFW park, the new playground, new businesses in the area that are landscaped, but mostly our people. When people are needed, the volunteers come from everywhere. Those same people are organizing a booth at the upcoming Home Show held at the Bartle Hall in Kansas City in March of this year. We will be waving a flag and inviting the metropolitan area to see the benefits of our small but proud community. With the leadership shown by the city council to remedy what have been long-term problems with the community, all of Tonganoxie will benefit. The problems have been few but unfortunately they're in some of the most visible areas of our city. Let's all work together to spruce up the city for the April review by our invited guests.

Larry Shepek,
Tonganoxie.

A dangerous precedent?
To the editor:

In response to the article in The Mirror dated Jan. 12, 2000: We consider it poor judgment on the part of the library director and the library board in letting a patron and her husband remove a beautiful antique and historic wood cabinet that had been donated to the library Feb. 8, 1984, in memory of a very prominent local citizen. The cabinet is being unnecessarily exposed to damage.

The individual index cards could be lost or destroyed by being transported. Many of the cards are irreplaceable due to material not in the Tonganoxie Mirror was place on cards by members of the now-defunct Tonganoxie Genealogical Society.

The personal project of a patron is commendable but her work could be done at the library. Is a precedent being set by the library director and the library board by allowing a patron to deny many taxpaying patrons access to library material?

Mary Frances and Harold E. Krull,
Tonganoxie.

Getting to the real issues
To the editor:

As I listen to the debate on both sides of the aisle regarding the legislative priority of education in Kansas, I am disappointed the focus is on funding. The governor's proposal to increase funding for K-12 education in both FY 2000 and FY 2001 is being criticized as insufficient to maintain the quality of education. The premise is there is a direct link between tax dollars spent and the quality of children's education. I know of no evidence that supports this.

The more important issue that we first need to define is what quality of education we desire, and then how best to obtain it. Most of us would say that improvement in education should result in a growth in our children's intellect and in their character. From personal experience we know that the quality of education our children receive is based on what is taught and who is doing the teaching. If we spend $100,000/student and provide a poor teacher, we will have poor students. If we spend $1,000/student and provide a great teacher, we will have great students. The level of funding is an aside.

We need to urge legislators to deal with the real issue educational reform, as opposed to increased funding. There are common-sense solutions to improving educational quality while reducing taxes. With regard to what is being taught: This issue is obviously better handled at the local level where parents have the ability to ensure that what is being taught reinforces and does not work against what is being taught at home. With regard to who is doing the teaching: our system needs to accommodate rewarding the great teachers and removing the poor teachers.

As we anticipate the legislative battles over education, let us focus on local control, parental choice and merit pay for teachers. The $50/student budget increase issue will pale in comparison.

Bob Lyon,
Winchester.

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