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Letters to the Editor

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Music is important to our students

To the Editor:

The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) reviewed studies that document student learning outcomes associated with an education in and through music. The results show conclusively that music education equips students with the foundational abilities to learn, to achieve in other core academic subjects, and to develop the capacities, skills and knowledge essential for lifelong success.

Every year, small-town schools are forced to face the hard reality of declining enrollment. This problem is felt throughout the whole state, and it directly affects the services that schools are able to offer our children. In the Red Oak Community School District, there are five teachers that serve the 1,086 children in our district, an insurmountable number of students when compared to any other subject. This is the music program of the Red Oak Community School District.

Due to budget cuts, these five teachers would be consolidated to four, which would drastically change the atmosphere of music in Red Oak. The direct impact on students and their education throughout all core areas would be directly affected by this consolidation. Music education helps shape our children to be creative, collaborative and forward thinking leaders. Music class is not just a fun elective course, it is vital to a well-rounded education that develops well rounded citizens who positively contribute to society as a whole. Every child has a right to a quality music education.

On January 14th and 28th 2019, there will be a school board meeting discussing and voting on the budget/teacher reductions that would be in effect for the 2019-2020 school year. Please join us at both meetings, and let your voice be heard defending the arts, and the music programs that impact 84 percent of our student body at the Red Oak Community School District.

As supporters of music and education, it is our job as parents and the community of Red Oak to assure our children that they are receiving the best education possible. That what they are learning in the music classroom does matter. The opportunities music will bring to their lives is important today and will be with them forever. ALL the Red Oak Music Instructors are a vital part of this quality education; eliminating one person would cause a major reduction in the quality of our music department!

Please contact the Red Oak School Board members and let them know your thoughts!

Mark Johnson, Board President, johnsonma@roschools.org

Bryce Johnson, Board Vice President, johnsonbr@roschools.org

Bret Blackman, Board Member, blackmanb@roschools.org

Roger Carlson, Board Member, carlsonr@roschools.org

Kathy Walker, Board Member, walkerka@roschools.org

Red Oak Music Booster Members

Missy Torbett

Kara Sherman

Diane Wingert

Pam Hurt

Women’s March to come to Red Oak

To the Editor:

Several of us from Southwest Iowa attended the 2017 and 2018 Women’s Marches in Des Moines. This year we are sponsoring a Women’s March in Red Oak, on January 19, 2019, in Legion Park in Red Oak, at 10 a.m. The mission of this March is to inform and empower our diverse rural communities on issues impacting our ability to thrive on farms and in small towns. Join us for some powerful speakers and a chance to connect with others. We would like to hear what is on your minds.

Southwest Iowa Indivisible

Barb Nelson

Pat Shipley

Janis Bowden

Jackie Cordon

Jan Norris

Becki Kaiser

Nancy Evans

Sarah Smith

Elizabeth Wearin

There is a crisis

To the Editor:

President Trump wants to build a physical border wall to stop or greatly reduce illegal border crossings from Mexico. Congressional Democrats say we can do better with a virtual wall using drones and sensors. I found a 2015 Bart College report with good reference material mostly from DHS and Customs and Border Security.

According to the report, the first attempt at technology-based border security was the Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System in 2006. It was cancelled due to tech problems and cost overruns after $439 million. Next was Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet) using cameras, radars and sensors. $1 billion was spent for 53 miles of the system; it was cancelled in 2014 due to high cost and ineffectiveness.

In 2014, CBP had six drones on the southern border which concentrated on 170 miles. In 2012, CBP requested 14 additional drones at $31.6 million each. The CBP drones are supposed to fly 16 hours a day but average just 3.5 hours per day at an annual cost per drone of $6.9 million. A 2014 CBP audit could attribute relatively few illegal border crossing apprehensions to the drone program.

Several sections of wall have been built, and every section saw a drop of 90 percent or better in illegal border crosser arrests.

The CDC says we average 192 deaths due to drug overdoses per day. Approximately 90 percent of all illegal drugs enter the U.S. through Mexico. 173 deaths per day due to Mexican drugs IS A CRISIS Mr. Schumer!

Doug Simpson

Essex