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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Virtual school

April 5, 2014

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To the editor:

On Monday, I testified at a hearing of the Kansas House Appropriations Committee. I am a mother, not a lobbyist. I had never done this before, but lawmakers are considering a cut to my daughter’s public school – even though her virtual school already spends about $7,000 per student less than other schools. According to the Kansas Department of Education, base state aid for traditional public schools currently is $3,838 per student, but, including funding from all sources, traditional schools in Kansas actually spend an average of $12,781 per student, compared to less than $5,000 per student in the state’s virtual school.

Virtual school students should not be victim to any reduction in funding when their aid is already so much lower than traditional public school students.

My daughter, Sophie, is a junior at the Insight School of Kansas, one of the public virtual schools that may be forced to close by this action.

At the state capitol, I joined many other parents who choose public virtual school for reasons such as bullying, health problems or academic struggles.

In our case, the traditional school moved at a pace too slow, and Sophie regretted the wasted time each day. Once enrolled in a public virtual school, she increased her class load so she could graduate a year early (saving the taxpayers’ money). Next year she will attend Brigham Young University.

I will continue to advocate for Sophie’s school until Kansas lawmakers stop threatening to close it down.

Comments

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

While I understand your position and applaud your effort to fight for something you believe in, I question the notion that we, the taxpayers have to provide everything to everyone.

Virtual schools may be a good idea. They may be cost effective and save tax dollars if they eliminate a traditional school but they do coat taxpayers more if they are in addition to traditional schools.

At some point we need to realize the government should provide the basic necessities. Anything beyond those are the responsibility of the individual to secure.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Richard, what is their to substantiate? It is my opinion.

Don Brennaman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I assume the above comment comes from the taxed enough already handbook.

Basic necessities I would say are food and shelter.

Basic services, under the new order will be: free kindergarten for all (you can learn everything else from the writings on your cave walls); rutted mud roads and; gold paving the yellow brick road to corporate welfare.

If ever the PEA party (Poor Enough Already) takes hold the commenter will have to learn the difference between necessity and service.

Fred Mertz 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't mind taxes to a point. And perhaps basic necessity wasn't the right choice of words. Services probably is a better choice.

Regardless, the point is the same. The government which is us, should not provide for the people what they can provide for themselves.

A public education should be provided because it benefits the public good. However, we should not provide both virtual and traditional schools if they are redundant. It we can reduce the number of traditional schools or ease overcrowding (if it exists) by having a virtual school then great. But if the virtual school is an alternative and the traditional schools can serve the public then we shouldn't have both eliminate one or the other.

And see Don, how easy it is to respond without being snarky.

Richard Heckler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Exposing ALEC GOP Agenda to Defund and Dismantle Public Education

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-van-roekel/exposing-alecs-agenda-to-_b_3223651.html

http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

This is a real concern for all school districts in the state of Kansas. This back door activity is at the very least unethical if not perhaps illegal. What do elected officials have to say about this?

After reading the above there is tremendous similarities to what is taking place right here under our nose. We must ask ourselves why has the majority of Kansas legislators worked so many hours and years destroying public education? This is not what they are paid to do yet they want more money for being irresponsible.

It seems to me when operational expenses are reduced year after year any department or business will begin to realize difficulties in achieving the most desirable goals.

Why do elected officials intentionally want to destroy public education? Public education has for decades and decades been one of the government success stories in reality a best bang for the tax buck.

Julius Nolan 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Big problem I have with virtual schools is simple. Are these students really doing the work? Is there someone monitoring the work? Is there any social interaction? Are these schools just an excuse to include religion into their teaching or just an excuse to control what they are taught? Maybe I'm showing a bias based on the announcement that next year this student with be attending a very religious based university? Could this possibly be why the writer is so supportive of the virtual schools?

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