Letters 4-4-2013


Schools

A supplies problem

Why are teachers paying for school supplies out of their own pocket? It boggles the mind but no one else seems to be asking that very important and obvious question. Instead, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to fix the symptoms of a possibly significant problem. We have a proposed teacher tax credit bill and various classroom donation programs which all may be good ideas but do not address the problem directly. What are our taxes for? Or are teachers not adequately using the state DOE procurement system? Should the supply list your child brings home at the beginning of the school year be improved?

Are our elected representatives underfunding our classrooms? If so, the better way is for our elected officials to manage our tax dollars better so that our schools are adequately funded. If teachers are not utilizing the state DOE procurement system adequately, then the system should be improved or teachers educated better on how to get supplies from the DOE.

Relying on public donations to supply classrooms worsens an inequity problem. In other words, rich neighborhoods will supply their school better than poor ones (theoretically, state funding can fund all schools equitably as opposed to property tax school funding). Also, theoretically, higher income teachers would tend to be at “rich” district schools due to socio-economic and geographic factors. Therefore, they would tend to have “deeper pockets” with which to buy supplies.

There really should be an independent study on this school supplies problem. It is interesting that in an age where federal, state and city governments are hell-bent on spending money — that they do not have — that priorities like education are neglected.

Leighton Loo

Honolulu

Kohanaiki

It is open to all now

After hearing a new road to the beach was constructed by the developer at Kohanaiki, we drove in to find a very nice parking area and access to the beach. We had tried to access the area several years ago, but turned back because the road was almost impassable unless you had a jeep or four-wheel-drive.

We recently moved to Kona from out north where we enjoyed the beautiful beaches at Mauna Lani and Mauna Kea. Kohanaiki beach provides several miles of sandy beach with some access for swimming. We are grateful to the developer at Kohanaiki for opening this area to the public.

For the 2,800 people who signed a petition so they can drive jeeps the several miles of beach, may I remind them of the president’s program to fight obesity and encourage Americans to exercise more. Parking your jeep and walking the coastline will help you stay fit and allow you to enjoy the fresh ocean air and bird life.

Joan Schleicher

Keauhou