Not intimidation

How disappointing that we, as parents, can't express our views and feelings concerning the possibility of our school being closed without being accused of "trying to intimidate" the board. We are aware the Board of Education says that nothing is set in stone, but we're not willing to take that chance with our children!

We have found studies showing smaller schools are better for our children, and isn't that what we all want, the best for our kids?

In a TV interview Dr. Simpson said: "You don't lose neighborhood schools. They just move to slightly different locations in our district. ..." Dr. Simpson, moving Columbia to a different location in the district is losing our neighborhood school! We want to work with the board in keeping Columbia open.

We're not saying that some things don't need to be done, because they do, but we can improve our schools and buildings. We don't have to close them and bus our children elsewhere. When you disagree with a proposal and do nothing to let your opposition be known, you can only blame yourself if it goes through. At the very least we're letting our opposition be known.

We are not trying to intimidate anyone, we just expect them to represent us - not push their own agenda. We expect that of anyone we elect, don't we?

Kim Robinson

Joplin

Quality education

Quality education is the foundation of quality communities.

Having a good education gives our residents, or their children and grandchildren, the opportunities to have jobs that provide for a good quality of living.

Likewise, having quality schools is key to continued economic development and the creation of more and better jobs for our residents. For local companies to expand and new companies to move in, they must be assured that there is a well-educated work force available now and in the future.

Our communities, and their schools, do not compete with each other for economic growth.

Instead, Southwest Missouri competes with other regions around the state, the Midwest, the country and globally. Increasingly, economic growth and job opportunities go to areas with quality education systems.

In a rapidly changing, global economy our area schools must continue to progress if this area is to continue its economic growth.

As the primary providers of K-12 education in our area, our public school systems have made great strides in the past few years in improving the educational opportunities for our youth.

All of our area schools have placed, and continue to place, an emphasis on achieving academic excellence.

Now, many communities in the Joplin metropolitan area of Jasper and Newton counties face very important questions regarding their school systems.

Local decisions, made by local voters, will set the future not just for individual communities but for all of southwest Missouri.

The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce encourages all voters in our communities to recognize the significant, positive impact that quality, progressive public education has on the future of Southwest Missouri and exercise their right to vote.

Rob O'Brian

President

Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce

Vote for values

Candidates for political offices want to "run on their record" or "what they propose (or promise) to do."

Thoughtful voters will support the candidates who uphold the voter's values. Sometimes learning those values is not easy. Candidates' promises are not always kept. Jobs, war and taxes have so far captured the limelight of the presidential race.

These are important, but, in my opinion, do not even come close to the most important issues.

Activist judges are well on the way to destroying our country. When a judge states reasoning behind a decision was influenced by what was law or practiced in Canada or another foreign country, the call should be made immediately for impeachment of that judge. A judge is bound by the Constitution (federal or state) and its subsidiary laws "and no other"!

Let us hear the candidates' views on interpreting the Constitution and protecting it.

I dislike Bush's positions on immigration and support for the National Endowment for the Arts, but he has it right on appointment of judges and on homosexual marriage. I will vote for Bush and I hope all others who believe in the strict interpretation of our Constitution will do the same.

Robert A. Scott

Joplin

Past tax facts

For those who occasionally like to discuss the condition and financing of Missouri highways here are some interesting facts to add to your arsenal.

On Sept. 1, 1984, the Missouri state gasoline tax at 7 cents became the lowest in the nation. Texans held that distinction with a 5 cent tax, but at the first of the month they doubled theirs to 10 cents. Missouri had the seventh largest highway system in the country with 32,000 miles of state highways and roads.

The states bordering Missouri, some with toll roads, were collecting the following taxes: Iowa, 13 cents; Illinois, 13 cents; Kentucky, 10 cents; Tennessee, 10 cents; Arkansas, 9.5 cents; Oklahoma, 9 cents; Kansas, 11 cents; Nebraska, 15.2 cents (variable). Some other eye-openers: Maine, 14 cents; Connecticut, 15 cents; Wisconsin, 16 cents; Minnesota, 17 cents; and Washington, 18 cents.

Jerry Pryor

Webb City

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