LJWorld.com weblogs New Ideas, New Possibilities
Why can't Lawrence and Kansas kids have what Kalamazoo, Michigan students have
A new sports complex, or kids that can go to college?
It is all very strange. Lawrence worries about a sports complex instead of building small areas throughout the city with a football-soccer field, and some inside courts and games. The City Library is going to be in one place, instead of small, branch libraries, which could be throughout the city. The sports complex is being built, perhaps, by cronies of the city council. I don't know that for a fact, but it all sounds very odd and ill-informed to me. And it's being done with very little information coming out to the public.
But we, the public, have to know more about what's going on in much greater detail. Who are the developers? What are they getting paid, now and later? What's the rush for this sports complex? What are their ties, if any, to the City Council?
Meanwhile, this recent article from the New York Times says a great deal for a different approach:
Instead of building sports complexes with questionable links to KU and to large developers, Kalamzoo, Michigan has a different approach entirely: use the money, plus private donations, to send all kids who graduate from high school to college.
Isn't that a better choice for Lawrence?
Or do we not care about people, just centrally located complexes whose financing information we do not have, even at this late date?
There would have to be changes. Ideally, all cities in Kansas would be able to send their graduates to a college or community college of their choice.
Of course, colleges would have to change, but they will have to change anyway. They can't keep on going the way they're going. Students can't afford the debt which college education (and even community college) places upon them. They don't need many of the courses which currently must be taken by all students.
The current chancellor of KU, whom I supported originally, has taken virtually no initiatives in terms of changing the curriculum or putting into effect digital classes at reduced rates. There is virtually no provision for older students to take classes they want to take. Again, there is virtually no support for the tremendous debt that students are taking on.
In my opinion, the Chancellor has to go at this point, to be replaced by someone who is very forward looking and thinking about the future. The Board of Regents also must change. The City Council must be honest with all the people of Lawrence.
People need to look at this article in the New York Times, this video from Edmonton, Alberta, and give their comments. It will be too late two or three years from now.