To the editor:
I remembered the following Theodore Roosevelt quote when reading Mr. Maduska’s letter in your May 10 edition. “It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance, and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things.”
Leavenworth is in competition with all of its neighboring towns for families to either stay here or move here. Schools are major factors impacting those decisions. Losing that competition to surrounding communities means that everyone’s property values stay stagnant at best or goes down. And homes are the biggest part of most families’ wealth.
Mr. Maduska has chosen to remain uninformed of the facts of public education in Leavenworth. Many words in his letter discuss the pre-school aspect of the proposed Lawson Early Childhood Center. Leavenworth schools already offer Title 1 pre-school for students from low-income families that can’t afford commercial pre-schools. Both parties in the federal Legislature authorize and appropriate federal tax dollars for this program.
I have no idea what he is talking about when the letter mentions condemning school buildings. One aspect of the proposed bond is adding storm shelters to Lawson Elementary and Warren Middle School. After tornados hit schools in Greensburg, Kansas, in 2007 and Joplin, Missouri, in 2011, it is clear that Leavenworth must protect its students from this danger.
Mr. Maduska then discusses the state of public education in the U.S. and condemns the school district for developing an effective and economical solution to ensure that all students know the basics and are ready to learn when they enter first grade. Where was he and his fellow travelers when the school district asked last fall for people to volunteer on the committee examining Leavenworth’s facility needs? I will pit the best of Leavenworth students against the best in the U.S. and the world right now. Your article on Ms. Ashley Dunivan finishing first in a national technical drafting competition for the second year in a row in the same May 10 edition proves my point. What we have to do is to provide those same educational opportunities to all students regardless of their family economic circumstances.
I urge your readers to educate themselves on the facts of the proposed bond issue and then vote yes on a bond issue that will not raise our property taxes.