Support the Westport school plan

Fortunately for the now vacant Westport High School and the community surrounding it, there are second chances. The Kansas City Public Schools board should reverse an earlier decision and sell the midtown building for a promising new development that would include a charter high school.

Kansas City Public Library earns a deserved honor

Like its fellow systems around the metro area and around the country, the Kansas City Public Library is undergoing a transformation in how it serves and reaches the public and how it will address and thrive in the future. A new national honor should tip off more residents to enjoy the library's offerings.

Populism has a record of checking the very rich

In the short term, McCutcheon v. FEC may make it easier for today’s robber barons to take over American politics. But by inviting them to corrupt our democracy so brazenly, it may also fuel a popular backlash leading to a new era of reform.

Home from war, our soldiers continue to die

Mental health is the new battlefield for many returning soldiers. At Fort Hood, the actions of Army Spc. Ivan Lopez might well serve as the military’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Let’s see if enough people listen. The Department of Veterans Affairs has estimated that 22 former members of the military commit suicide every day. Every day.

Again, Christianity is the last to get it right

On issues where it should take the lead, where it should make noise and news, challenging the status quo, marching in the streets, actively advocating for human dignity, the great body of Christendom always seems to bring up the rear, arriving decades late to the place the rest of the nation has already reached.

Diplomacy landscape is marvel of bleak futility

Secretary of State John Kerry’s crowning piece of diplomatic futility is his frantic effort to salvage the Arab-Israeli negotiations he launched, also against all odds and sentient advice. He’s made 12 trips to the region, aiming to produce a final Middle East peace within nine months.

Kansas weekend theatrics can’t obscure state’s fiscal crisis

Even before a weekend of late nights and frayed nerves, Kansas lawmakers were in the throes of agony. They needed to find $129 million to correct unconstitutional school funding inequities. But thanks to a self-inflicted budget crisis with no end in sight, the road to $129 million was paved only with brutal choices.

A better future is the goal for children in Guatemala

What stands out in a visit to Guatemala are the hardworking, gracious people who endured a 36-year civil war claiming more than 200,000 lives and displacing even more before it ended in 1996. With more education, fewer children to raise and more time, Guatemalans will widen today’s narrow paths into opportunities and new ways to improve the country.

Rethinking teacher retirement plans

“These balkanized pension plans deter movement of educator talent to its best use, provide virtually no benefits for the typical new teacher recruited into a Kansas City public school and are absorbing a larger and larger share of school revenues,” writes Michael Podgursky, an economics professor at the University of Missouri.

Sen. Harry Reid’s shameful comment about the Koch brothers

Yes, it was bad when right-wingers called Barack Obama un-American, but Obama is the most powerful man in the world and the rabble is just that. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid owes Charles and David Koch — and the American people — an apology for calling the libertarian billionaires un-American.

There are no absolutes in education debate

The Kansas City school board’s vote to delay the sale of Westport High School stoked accusations that members who voted “no” did so out of a reluctance to see a charter school take over the space. The idea that charters are staking out too much turf in the district isn’t new, but it doesn’t hold the same clout it once did.

Dirty tricks in the Hickman Mills school board race

Voters who want to see the Hickman Mills School District make progress should ignore the vile and illegal cxampaign mailings received over the weekend and support Bonnaye Mims, Dan Osman and Karry Palmer for school board. The mailings are a sign of hos desperate a certain faction is to disrupt the struggling district and exert a poisonous influence.

Obama’s stand-up routine is laughable indeed

Perhaps the biggest irony is that the young people President Barack Obama had in stitches at the University of Michigan are being forced to pay too much for health insurance in order to subsidize health care for others. In other words, they’re laughing at the pickle, but the joke is really on them.