Letters to the editor
Children living in poverty
The Paris based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently released a report that showed the United States of America has the Western World's second highest child poverty rate. This report, based on a United Nations study, showed that 27.1 percent of American children live below the poverty level.
In the developed world, only Mexico was higher.
This report comes at a time when Governor Matt Blunt, wants to cut funding for programs for children in our state, and our President, George Bush, wants to spend $300 billions more fighting a war in Iraq he himself claims ended almost two years ago. This is not the time to be cutting funding for children and for spending money abroad that should be used at home.
Hopefully Governor Blunt and President Bush, both intelligent men who were elected to be caring leaders, will read this report and get their budget and spending priorities straightened out. The Bush Administration reported in 2004 that the child poverty rate was between 11 percent and 14 percent, lower than the Paris report but still far too high for a country which claims to be the world mightiest superpower. Charity should begin at home, and if government wants to cut programs, let's not start with children who are our nation's, and our world's, future.
Eye-opening session convinces reader school tax is needed
Twenty-seven votes. Did you know that the school levy tax lost by only 27 votes? I didn't. Did you know the average amount that tax levy would have raised taxes was just $37 to $50? 1 didn't. Did you hear that the tax would have raised most every household taxes $500 per tax? I did. But that's not so. Did you know that this tax would only be in place for four years? I didn't. Did you know that this $500,000 that this tax would have raised would be matched by stated funds to a tune of $1,000,000? 1 didn't. Did you know that our school system has already cut several positions including secretarial, custodial, a school nurse, a social worker and maintenance? I didn't. Does it scare you that a student could be in dire need of medication and the school nurse could be across town taking a temperature? It scares me, a lot.
I must admit that I am and have been quite oblivious of the desperate money short falls that our school now faces. I, a lot of times, do not bother with the "little" election issues. I do vote in big event elections, but school levies and such, I just don't worry about. I now realize how very misguided that way of thinking is. I attended a work session of the Nevada School board on Feb. 23 and my eyes were made wide open.
The school board members have a very difficult and daunting job discussing where they need to next cut funding from to make-up some of this shortfall. None of the members appeared to want to cut any program or eliminate any more employees. They discussed a number of disagreeable cuts that covered every comer of the budget. Some of the items that were discussed was reducing personnel, fringe benefits, reducing health insurance coverage, dropping some programs altogether, imposing a user fee to extra curricular activities, and reducing repairs and maintenance costs.
None of these are good answers if the quality of our school system is to remain at the high standard that we are accustomed to. The citizens of Nevada need to decide what is important here. It has to be our kids. Making classrooms hold more students than a teacher can adequately teach is not a good option. Most of the teachers have more students than they can give personal attention to. At the meeting we were told that a lot of students can't enroll in French due to the fact that it is only scheduled for two class periods. I would like to see a system where students can enroll in any class they wish and not have a two class-period roadblock. It is not possible for all students to schedule classes they are interested in now, due to the lack of teaching staff now. Now they are considering cutting one teaching position per grade? That's 13 more teachers that we could be short. This is not sounding good to me at all.
Now, you may be wondering what lit the fire under this part-time voter? I had heard that ROTC was one of the possible programs due to be cut. Oh no, not on my watch, I thought. This is why this part-time voter went to the school board meeting.
I am happy to report that the proposed cuts involve all programs across the board.
We as citizens and taxpayers really have an obligation to our children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren to fight for our school's financial survival. If you have a child in band, choir, art, speech and debate, football, or basketball, or any activity, this will affect your child. I am asking-- nom pleading -- with parents to come with me to the next school board meeting on March 16, at 7 p.m. in the superintendents office and let the school board members know that we do want the quality of our kids education and extracurricular activities to remain what we are accustomed to.
Our kids deserve this and we need to request that the school board go back to the voters again and let's get this tax levy voted in. Do I think that there was a lot of misinformation and rumor that stopped this tax levy from being passed? You bet I do.
I don't want our schools to become rundown or an athlete be told that you must pay to play. I also don't want choir, band, ROTC, or any program to be forced to pay a fee to participate. I personally have never been an advocate for raising a taxes, but I am.
I assure you that this part-time voter will vote, if this is brought for a vote again in June.
Urging legislators to address Missouri medical liability issues
Missouri is losing some of its finest medical talent as physicians flee the medical liability crisis. The patients are the biggest losers because they can no longer access the expertise of those physicians.
It isn't new, young physicians who are leaving. It is long-time, well respected physicians who have practiced for years in the community. Some even grew up there and had deep ties to the area. That kind of physician may never be replaced; it is sure they won't be replaced in the near future by anyone with the same level of understanding and commitment to the community.
The General Assembly should act before Kansas City loses another doctor.
Frank Albani, M.D.