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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Mary Boland ranks Colorado 48th in spending per pupil on education. Is it just coincidental that this is the same ranking developed in 1998 from an article that appeared in the “Education Week” magazine based upon data from the U.S. Dept. of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics?

In 1998, Mike Rosen was writing a weekly column for the Denver Rocky Mountain News. He wrote a column entitled “School-funding figures mislead about Colorado’s ranking.” His findings were taken from the Dept. of Education (1995-96 data) that Colorado actually ranked 30th out of 51 in per-pupil spending.

How do you analyze a numerical ranking of 48th vs. 30th unless you know the actual dollar gap in per pupil spending?

Consider another analysis. In 1996, Colorado spent $5,121, the U.S. average was $5,689. Utah was lowest at $3,604, and New Jersey the highest at $9,361. Both Utah and Colorado consistently outscore New Jersey on the student tests.

Mr. Rosen stated, “People sporting the propagandistic message (48th ranking) fall into two categories: 1) well intentioned souls ignorant of the objective data 2) those who know the claim is false, but who believe that repeating it often enough will help convince others to lavish more money on the public education establishment.”

Ex-Gov. Ritter used the 48th ranking within the last year at Grand Junction before Club 20. I believe his motive would fall within the second category described above. What kind of a message is this to be sending out to the rest of the country, that Colorado ranks 48th in per pupil spending, unless it is based upon indisputable facts?

One basis to dismiss Mr. Rosen’s remarks is that the data is over 10 years old. Keep in mind that ranking Colorado 48th in per pupil spending has not changed over this same period of time. One solution would be that in the future, for those who want to rank Colorado’s spending per pupil vs. the United States that they identify the source of their data.

Ken Call

Glenwood Springs

As a part-time resident of the valley, I was disturbed on Wednesday, March 9, to see a middle-aged woman standing on the corner of 8th and Grand in Glenwood Springs advertising that the “Doctor was In,” a la Lucy and Charlie Brown.

Her home-made sign consisted of green poster board with paper cutouts of marijuana leaves flapping in the breeze with an address written on it.

Is this really a serious medical service or an adolescent joke? What concerned me more was the line of 10 schoolchildren crossing at the same intersection. What do the children think?

I worked hard to keep my kids substance-free. Have the adults in this valley and state gone over the edge? How is this parallel pot society helping the economy of Colorado?

Pamela Heckert

Wilmington, Del.


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