To the editor:
The recent article about the great job the Boys and Girls Club is doing in the after-school program was good news. Many young families are helped tremendously by this, but many more are still waiting due to space and funding issues. That has been a serious problem here in Lawrence for quite some time.
Decreased federal and state funding to schools has forced the school board to close schools, limit curriculum and cut early-learning programs for at-risk kids. Head Start and other programs for disadvantaged youth should be fully supported and funded by our state and federal government. I can't believe there can even be a debate over this.
The practice of not properly funding our schools is totally irresponsible. Lawmakers who blindly stick by their campaign rhetoric of "no tax increases, period" are bankrupting our school districts, as well as compromising the future of these kids, by not giving them the help they need. Many receiving huge tax breaks made their millions on the backs of underpaid, food-stamp-eligible families working hard but not making a living wage. They helped create, by their low pay scale, the need for these programs and should give back enough to fund them.
I side with the judge who ruled that Kansas is legally responsible for properly funding schools. Those who refuse to discuss tax increases don't have the welfare of our children on their agenda.
Stephen J. Crockett,