Your Turn

Your Turn: Changes boost K-12 funding needs
May 22, 2015
I recently had a conversation with my dad, a retired teacher, and another relative about school funding. We all were in agreement the block grant represents a cut to our state’s K-12 operational funding. However my relative then added: “but I think we spend too much on administration and other support staff.” He reached back to his own school days, with multiple jobs shared among staff, and students helping out with various clerical and custodial duties. It’s part of a perspective shared among many that question whether schools are operating as efficiently as possible, fueled by idealistic memories of their own, or their children’s, academic experiences.
Your Turn: Two-year colleges have key role
May 20, 2015
Earlier this year, President Obama introduced a plan “to make community college as free and universal as high school.” This proposal, which generated both support and opposition, is important for two reasons.
Your turn: Group focuses on housing, mental health
May 11, 2015
Justice Matters is a coalition of 21 faith communities that have crossed racial and economic social lines to come together and address issues of justice in the city of Lawrence. Last fall, we canvassed neighborhoods, trailer parks, and organized over 1,200 people to meaningfully discuss life in our city. We elected first to address issues of affordable housing and mental health, and conducted six months of research into these two matters.
Your Turn: Home-based services make sense
May 6, 2015
In the May 1 Lawrence Journal-World, an interesting narrative plays out by laying three different Section A stories out next to each other: one about Kansas’ budget crisis, one about a rally in Topeka by people in the developmental and physical disability community, and, lastly, the day’s editorial about KanCare.
Your Turn: Helpful neighbors replace KU’s Big Event
May 1, 2015
I want to take this opportunity to speak about the KU Big Event, its cancellation and my wonderful neighbors. I am an elderly woman and, unfortunately, on March 9, I fell in my home and broke my shoulder. I still have problems and I am currently in physical therapy. I didn’t know what I was going to do in the coming spring with all the yard work that needed to be done but I participated in the KU Big Event two years ago. 
Your Turn: Economy should work for all
April 29, 2015
Kansas needs an economy that works for everyone, where the road map to opportunity and the middle class is available to all. That would seem to be a goal for the Brownback administration. Road Map 2.0, unveiled during the governor’s 2014 campaign, says that “All Kansans deserve opportunities for success, the ability to earn a family-sustaining wage and to enjoy a good quality of life.”
Your Turn: State shouldn’t support discrimination
April 27, 2015
As a chaplain and person of faith, religion is an important part of my daily life and a source of strength and inspiration. I deeply appreciate the value of religious institutions in the lives of many students, including those who attend state colleges and universities in Kansas.
Your Turn: Kansas needs juvenile justice reform
April 22, 2015
Kansas’ juvenile justice system should be doing more to keep our communities safe and to make better use of state funds. Our juvenile code was written in 1996. Since then, research has shown many strategies once believed to fight youth crime actually do more harm than good — and at great cost to taxpayers. Other states are adopting smarter approaches to juvenile justice that result in declining crime rates and more cost-effective systems.
Opinion: 70 years ago, nation mourned FDR
April 16, 2015
Seventy years ago this week, on April 12, 1945, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and died at Warm Springs, Ga. The president died on the eve of victory against Germany and Japan in the Second World War; just three weeks after his death, Germany signed the instrument of unconditional surrender to the Allies.
Opinion: Future of baseball is looking bright
April 13, 2015
About this you may be certain: The 2015 Major League Baseball season will be one to remember for young and old alike with a record number of people (some 74 million people plus) passing through the turnstiles. Once again, the American and National Leagues will draw more fans than the combined total of the National Football League, National Basketball League and National Hockey League.
Opinion: Media should focus on education solutions
March 31, 2015
April brings both hope and fear to thousands of anxious teenagers. It is the month when many high school seniors receive acceptances and rejections from the colleges of their choice.
Your Turn: Longtime resident concerned for Kansas
March 24, 2015
I recently spent a rough night, filled with bad dreams. Everything I tried to do turned out exactly the opposite of what I had set out to achieve: Several haircuts left my hair even longer than before, and multiple attempts to park my bike near some building I apparently needed to get to were thwarted by regulations that sent me increasingly farther from my destination (“You’re using the wrong brand of lock and chain, so you’ll be fined if you park here”).
Your Turn: Battle for open government continues
March 17, 2015
March 15-21 marks the 10th anniversary of the nationally commemorated Sunshine Week during which open government proponents throughout our nation point with pride at transparency breakthroughs, but are equally alarmed about setbacks to the people’s right to know what their government is up to. A review by the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government shows the Kansas experience over the past 10 years is no different. While sunshine victories can be proclaimed in some areas of our state government — the legislative enactment of a media shield law, for example — there have been serious setbacks, including the expansion of exceptions to the state’s Open Records Act from 10 or so to 57 and counting. Meanwhile, the cost of gaining access to these “open government” records has mushroomed to the point that pressing access in many instances simply isn’t worth the effort to the citizenry.
Opinion: Charity good for recipients and givers
March 3, 2015
We continue to receive good news about the economy. But one part of the story has not received the attention it deserves. That part is charitable giving.
Your Turn: Texas judge endorses merit selection
February 27, 2015
Some members of the legislative and executive branches of Kansas government have publicly expressed their admiration for many “things Texan.” For example, they acclaim Gov. Rick Perry’s conservative leadership and praise Texas’ lack of a state income tax. Their high regard for our southerly neighbor may explain why our legislature is considering whether Kansas should switch to Texas’ system for selecting Supreme Court justices. Texas procures justices through statewide elections.