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May 27, 2015, letters

  • Updated

Budget cuts have already cost out students

The last two years of my teaching career I learned how to teach reading. Yes, reading, one of the most complex skills any of us ever learn.

The Reading Recovery teacher training was rigorous. Teachers learned countless teaching strategies. Our work with children was critiqued by other teachers. Were we using the best strategies for that particular child at that particular time? Was the child engaged, focused, feeling confident? It was up to the teacher to make that happen. It was intense. Each of my students received daily assessments and individual instruction based on what he/she needed to learn next. Students who would have become discouraged and eventually dropouts started to thrive. Reading Recovery is designed to help struggling readers before they start thinking of themselves as failures. It’s one teacher and one student, 30 minutes a day. It works. Sadly, the program is no longer offered in Rapid City Area Schools because of the cost.

Rapid City Schools are cutting programs and teaching positions to stay within the budget and our children pay the price. This trend can be reversed if residents vote “yes” for a small tax increase (opt-out) on June 2. Think about it.

— Shirley Frederick, Rapid City

Reject opt-out, dump school board members

You can vote now or wait until June 2, but please vote. If you don’t live in Rapid City but reside in the Rapid City School District you can vote on the opt-out and for a school board candidate in your area.

I would suggest that all school board members should be replaced. I would also suggest that were you to double the school district’s budget, they would continue asking for more. Bottom line, no new taxes. Is there a way to opt out of the Rapid City School District without moving?

— Vern Ziebart, Rapid City

Kooiker a watchdog for city taxpayers

Mr. Allender was on the city’s payroll for 29 years — the last seven years as chief. At the time of his retirement his salary was $113,800 per year plus benefits. The chief retired at age 53 (how many people do you know that can retire at age 53?). After a few months, he is now “rested, relaxed and ready to serve again” and “does not need a job” but wants to be mayor for about $95,000 per year — plus benefits.

He claims to be a “public servant” — I believe he was and wants to be a “paid” public servant. One individual who was planning to run for mayor was contacted by “someone” who obviously convinced her not to run — hmmm wonder why that happened and who that “someone” is — “someone” sure carries a lot of weight.

I will be casting my vote for Sam Kooiker for mayor of Rapid City. Sam is and always has been a watchdog for the ordinary taxpaying citizen. He did an excellent job as my representative on the council, and I will continue to support him as he seeks a third term as mayor of Rapid City.

— Twylah Luedtke, Rapid City

Sen. Rounds needs to study U.S. Constitution

Thanks to Sen. Mike Rounds for submitting the column thanking our veterans (May 25 edition). One small thing senator: "... life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are part of the Declaration of Independence (that's the one we celebrate on July 4th), not the Constitution of the United States. It's the one that contains the words (among others), "...promote the general welfare..."

Perhaps you should give it a read and some thought. One would think that someone serving in the U.S. Senate would know the difference.

— Brent Cogswell, Rapid City

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