Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: Dec. 21

Unfair, shortsighted to restrict state aid to for-profit schools

I am scratching my head over the logic expressed in your recent editorial, "Test for-profit education; weigh value of state aid."

If I understand the rationale, you suggest that Kentucky taxpayers attending proprietary schools — who receive a scant $153 per student in state support while earning degrees that will train them for jobs where thier skills are sorely needed in their communities — should forego those funds because the money would be better used to support students at public institutions.

These are the same public institutions from which only 24.6 percent of students graduate — compared to the 60.8 percent graduation rate of students attending two-year proprietary schools.

In fact, the high dropout rate of students at community colleges in Kentucky is costing taxpayers $37 million per year, according to a recent study, "Hidden Costs of Community Colleges," by the American Institutes for Research.

In regards to "valuable assets" returned to the "taxpaying public," career-college operations in Kentucky had a total positive economic impact of $454.1 million in 2009-2010 according to a report by Chmura Economics & Analytics, "The Contributions of Career Colleges to the Kentucky Economy."

That same study said Kentucky career colleges generate about $10 million every year in tax revenues for the state.

In light of these and other facts, I am baffled by your conclusion that the dollars our students receive for their education may be better spent at the public colleges already wasting millions of taxpayer dollars every year.

Have you ever considered running for Congress?

Frank Longaker

President, National CollegeRoanoke, Va.


Your editorial, "Test for-profit education; weigh value of state aid" paints an incomplete picture of the role that private sector colleges and universities play in higher education, particularly in Kentucky.

Private sector schools are an integral part of higher education. These schools fill a niche by serving non-traditional students, like working adults looking to obtain an education directly related to their career goals.

While your editorial highlights that eight percent of state assistance in Kentucky goes to students attending career-oriented institutions, it fails to point out that those students attending private sector schools represent 10 percent of all Kentucky higher education students.

The reality is that private sector colleges and universities are committed to ensuring that all Americans have the educational opportunities that will allow them to compete and succeed in the twenty-first century work force.

Rather than singling out one sector in higher education, Kentucky should work to ensure that the same benchmarks measuring student success are applied universally across the higher education industry.

Brian Moran

Interim CEO/PresidentAssociation of Private Sector Colleges and UniversitiesWashington D.C.


Disrespectful report

The McClatchy article questioning the merit and valor of Sgt. Dakota Meyer and his Medal of Honor is absolutely despicable.

The Marines don't hand out accolades like candy. They don't give awards to people who do ordinary things. Meyer is a hero and should be treated as such. Anything less is doing him and his fellow soldiers a grave disservice.

The most disturbing part of this article is that it was edited by people who get to sit in comfortable offices with their coffee and computers and call into question details of a fight that took place on a battlefield thousands of miles away.

I've never engaged in battle, and I thank the Lord for the men and women willing and able to do it in my place. I do know that a battlefield is a place where people are injured and killed.

It is a place where soldiers have to make snap decisions to protect themselves and fight the enemy. It is a place where things happen in an instant and people with different vantage points may see something different or may miss something altogether.

Those in such stressful environments should be given an incredible amount of grace when it comes to recounting the traumatic details.

The article was in very poor taste and disrespectful to Meyer and others who serve. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be surprised that this type of nonsense would be produced by a company whose stock is around $2 a share.

Christopher R. Lee

Lexington


Mitch gets no respect

When I lived in West Virginia in 2002, I was impressed by the genuine love, respect and admiration that people there felt for Sen. Robert C. Byrd. West Virginians regarded the late senator with awe.

In the year that I lived there, I never heard a West Virginian publicly criticize him.

What a difference here in Kentucky. Although our Sen. Mitch McConnell is as politically powerful as Byrd was, Kentuckians don't seem to have much respect for McConnell.

In November, the Herald-Leader printed 16 letters to the editor about McConnell, many of which were not merely critical but downright contemptuous. There was not one favorable letter.

To summarize November's letters: McConnell is a cruel, ruthless, selfish, grimacing, smirking circus clown and monster who trickles on working people and who needs to be shipped out of the country into Dante's inferno.

Why do we tolerate a senator who only represents the wealthiest one percent? It's time for McConnell to start holding town hall meetings to listen to the concerns of average Kentuckians.

Dave Cooper

Lexington


Protect the children

Yes, the Commonwealth of Kentucky dropped the ball in protecting children. Not just the case workers or the lack of legislation. All within the system are responsible.

Hire the right people who are qualified for the jobs, not based on who they know or what favors were called in to get the job.

Perhaps qualified people were handling the cases. However, when a victim of society falls through the cracks, you have to look at who is responsible for the repairs.

Why were there repeated discrepancies in the investigation? Of course this is too late for Amy Dye, but what of all the other children in the same predicament?

I pray that if Frankfort passes an "Amy's Law" it will be enforced by qualified people.

Christopher Neal Prater

Harrodsburg


Cal afraid of Hoosiers?

On Nov. 30, the Wall Street Journal reported that 70 percent of University of Kentucky fans favored dropping Indiana from the basketball schedule, 22 percent favored dropping North Carolina and 8 percent favored dropping Louisville.

This was in response to a survey from Coach John Calipari, who favored dropping one of the three to soften the schedule a bit.

I believe Coach Cal is shortsighted in dropping any of the three. What is he afraid of?

There's something special about flagship universities in contiguous states where basketball is king playing one another.

I doubt that any team in the country plays a better intersectional schedule than UK's with Indiana, North Carolina and Louisville. Playing a tough schedule is something to be proud of.

The alternative is dropping Indiana and playing pushover Mississippi Valley State and winning 99-41. Who needs it? Let's keep a strong schedule while playing the Hoosiers every year.

Gene Russell

Nashville

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