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Opinion
Saturday, 05 April 2014 10:07

By Al Shank, Liberal

 

I read Starley Craig’s letter to the editor with much interest. I agree that good teachers are an integral part of a successful education. Shouldn’t we respect our teachers enough to give them the best working environment and tools for success we can?

I believe that voting “yes” twice next Tuesday will help accomplish this. Will it give teachers everything they need? Absolutely not, but it is a step in the right direction.

You do not have to be an educator to recognize the benefits of a better working environment. If you’ve ever held a job, and who hasn’t, then you know what it was like to work in less than ideal working conditions. You also know how much better you could perform given a better working environment and the right tools for the job.

It appears to me that Ms. Craig worked in some pretty tough environments at times with more than her share of students. While we can’t go back and correct that situation for her, we have a chance to make strides on improving those conditions for today’s teachers. Starley knows that the better you can do your job as an educator the better education your students get.

Her flippant remark, insinuating that the current committee involved in the planning of the project was “a lot of people talking about spending a lot of other peoples money,” is just nonsense.

With the exception of the consultants and those from out of town, everyone on the committee would share their burden of the costs through taxes if the bond issue passes. That sounds more like “a lot of people talking about spending a lot of other peoples money as well as their own.”

She also implies that parents of students need to pay more and be “more financially invested” in their children’s education. I’m not against that, but I’m pretty sure when Ms. Craig went to school there were taxpayers that helped pay for her education, even though they had no kids or grand kids in the system.

I know that happened when I went through the Liberal school system. That was also the case when our three children went to school here. So this is our chance to pay it forward for the next generation. Isn’t that our obligation? Didn’t someone else do that for us? Did we forget that?

She talks of stagnant wages in this $9-per-hour town. I view the passage of the bond issue as one way we can provide a better education for students, with a better working environment for educators and a bump in economic development for this community in so many ways while the project goes on. This would accomplish something that Ms. Craig’s husband, a former Liberal City Commissioner knows all to well, is difficult to do.

I am a longtime resident and business owner, and I will vote “yes” twice on Tuesday for both the sales tax increase and bond issue. Someone once said “faith is the person that plants the seed for the oak tree they know they will never get the chance to sit under.”

I believe Liberal voters have that faith. Please vote “YES” on Tuesday.

 
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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press.

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