Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on preschool funding, work ethic, sex education in Kansas

Preschool funding

As a retired U.S. Army brigadier general, I know well about investments in our nation’s security. I think Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed budget jeopardizes one of the most critical investments for our state and country’s future: early childhood education.

In Kansas, seven out of 10 young adults ages 17 to 24 are not eligible to serve in the military. Poor education — failing to graduate from high school — is a leading disqualifier.

Research highlighted by the national security organization Mission: Readiness demonstrates that high-quality early education is a proven way to address academic underachievement. The governor’s budget, however, would dissolve funding dedicated to early childhood programs.

Private preschool in Kansas costs nearly $8,000 a year. This is more than many families can afford at a time when nearly 60 percent of Kansas 3- and 4-year-olds are not attending preschool, which is below the national average.

I strongly urge the state Legislature to reject the governor’s budget recommendation. We must ensure early childhood funding remains intact, giving children a greater chance to be successful in life and the opportunity to serve their nation in uniform, should they so choose.

John Schmader

Retired U.S. Army

Brigadier general

Easton, Kan.

Strong work ethic

People today feel they are entitled to everything for little or no cost. Free college would not only bankrupt this country, but it would cause the little work ethic my generation has to dissipate into thin air.

Many people in past generations had to work for what they wanted and did not expect anything to be handed to them.

For example, Andrew Carnegie was one of the richest men in history. Do you think he was handed a million-dollar loan by his daddy and given a good luck pat on the back?

The answer is no. Carnegie knew that if he wanted to make it big he would have to work hard.

Carnegie once said, “You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb a little himself.”

Free college also should not be an option. We must teach younger generations that hard work has results. If you want something, you must be willing to work for it.

After all, hard work is what America was founded on.

Randi Quisenberry

Drexel, Mo.

Sex-education ban

As a science teacher, I used to give a pre-test to my high school students before we studied sex education to see what they did not know. You would not believe how misinformed they were in this subject area.

If I were to write a book of these answers, it would be a joke book.

I urge the Kansas Legislature to stop Senate Bill 56 from passing into law.

These students usually don’t get the information from their parents, so the need is there to educate them in the schools. If not, they will get it from their friends, who don’t know themselves.

The thought of making it a crime to teach information about young people’s bodies and the reproduction process is ridiculous.

Charlie Rogers

Overland Park

Comfort women

A headline saying, “46 Korean comfort women still living,” has cropped up recently as news surfaced of a South Korea-Japan agreement on the comfort women/sex slaves issue.

However, reports should state: “Of the thousands of Korean comfort women who returned to the Korean peninsula after World War II, only 238 ever registered in South Korea and of these, 46 remain alive there.”

Estimates of the number of Korean comfort women vary from 20,000 to more than 200,000. The high number is presented by historians who include Yoshimi Yoshiaki (“Comfort Women,” 2000), and the most extremely conservative figure by Park Yu-ha (“Comfort Women of the Empire,” 2013).

Even if one takes the 20,000 bare-minimum figure and estimates that half perished during the war, 10,000 Korean comfort women either returned to South Korea and North Korea or settled elsewhere, mostly in Asian countries, but in other locations, including the United States.

If 5,000 returned to South Korea and North Korea, and if only 10 percent are still alive, then 500 former comfort women are living on the Korean peninsula today.

Beginning in 1992, 238 of them registered in South Korea and 46 of those survive there. Clearly, there are many more in Korea and elsewhere.

Maija Rhee Devine

Lee’s Summit