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Lottery benefits 

Lottery benefits

Warren Stephens gave $50,000 for the campaign to convince us to vote for a state lottery to pay for college scholarships. He says this initiative, if successful, will give a lot of young people a chance.

Rather than give to a campaign to pay for scholarships by lottery losers, why not do for Arkansas what Claiborne Deming has done for El Dorado? Out of his company's pocket pay the tuition up to the highest charged at an Arkansas state college to any school that a student can get into. It would be for students who get neither academics or need-based scholarships. Why not help the students who need it with their room and board?

If he needs help from the rest of his family and the Waltons, too, why wouldn't they if they really care for our students and their state?

The El Dorado scholarships have brought new residents to their community and caused new homes to be built. Why wouldn't statewide scholarships do that for the whole state?

More college graduates would bring in high-tech and management jobs.

Jerry Shell

Leslie

Lack of respect

I am writing this letter to you to express the disgust I felt when while driving to work Sunday morning. I heard Bill Vickery talking on Radio KABZ about the loss of Bill Gwatney. While he was saying nice things about him he did not have the common courtesy to refer to him as chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas. Instead he chose to refer to him as chairman of the Arkansas Democrat Party, a non-existent entity.

I realize that for some reason Republicans feel compelled to use the word Democrat as a slur. But why even in moments like this he still felt compelled to do so I will never understand.

I am a black man and I get the same visceral reaction every time I hear one of those bozos say Democrat Party instead of Democratic Party that I got growing up in the '50's and '60's hearing a white man saying Nigra instead of Negro.

Vickery showed the same kind of disrespect every time he did that. I don't know how this country will ever be able to get out of the multitude of messes the Bush administration has gotten us into if Republicans insist on being so disrespectful and insulting even in the most solemn of circumstances.

I hope that Vickery will apologize to the Gwatney family and maybe even do a little soul searching. We are all Americans and should at least be able to show common courtesy in dealing with each other.

I called Bill Vickery's show Sunday to voice my opinion and when his call screener heard the reason for my call he hung up on me.

Stan Wilson

Little Rock

Back to school

In response to the letter from Renee Taylor from Warren:

The timing of reading the back to school article was quite ironic. I'm a public school teacher and yesterday I sat down with my receipts to see how much I'd spent already on school supplies. I'd forgotten spiral notebooks and made yet another trip to Wal-Mart to catch them on sale. I read briefly through the Times in the car trying to remember what else I'd forgotten to purchase. I'm sitting already at about $300, and oh yeah, I don't have any children of my own. I'd be happy if all students came prepared with any color of pencil. In reality, due to no fault of their own, this isn't always the case. I don't blame the parents. See, they live in the same society that I do. We are all feeling the high gas and food prices. People have lost their jobs and taken pay cuts and no one is protected from it. Even when that child shows up for the first day of school completely empty handed, I know that the parents sent one very important thing. They sent their pride and joy and the best that they had. My job has now begun. I have to educate their best while the child may be hungry, needing new clothes, may be suffering from abuse at home, may be in need of glasses, health insurance, medical care and dentistry. The powers that be, determine where public monies go. I teach special education. We have No Child Left Behind that looked good on paper but was never funded. Special Ed classrooms have less supplies and resources than any. However, somehow with limited resources, children functioning below the poverty level and with teachers being held hostage to test scores, we educate. We touch the life of a child and strive to improve it. I am a National Education Association member. They remind me that I must put my personal thoughts about gay/lesbian/transgender individuals behind me and remember that great public schools are the basic right of every child. If the student or their parents fall into these categories, I do not turn them away. I have a job to do. Public schools socialize students to understand that there is a world outside of their home.

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