Of ap­ples and or­anges

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

Re Dana Kel­ley’s col­umn “Much ado …” in the Demo­crat-Gazette last Fri­day: What a spe­cious ar­gu­ment Mr. Kel­ley makes as he ma­ligns Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s take­down of newly ap­pointed sec­re­tary of ed­u­ca­tion Betsy DeVos by com­par­ing the high cost of ed­u­ca­tion in Alaska (Murkowski’s state) to its near­est neigh­bor, Wash­ing­ton state.

Con­sider the high cost of de­liv­er­ing an ed­u­ca­tion to every child in the Alaskan ter­ri­tory. There are many iso­lated com­mu­ni­ties with no in­ter­con­nect­ing roads that re­quire ex­tra­or­di­nary school con­struc­tion to ac­com­mo­date Alaska’s ex­treme weather con­di­tions. The cost of living for food, shel­ter and sup­plies fre­quently de­pends on air­plane de­liv­er­ies. Let’s not for­get that one needs to fac­tor in what fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives it would take to at­tract a pro­fes­sion­ally pre­pared work force to teach in con­di­tions that many would find less than stel­lar. Of course ed­u­ca­tional costs run much higher in Alaska than in the lower 48 states! Please, Mr. Kel­ley, get your ap­ples and or­anges in the ap­pro­pri­ate crates.

DONNA CASPARIAN Hot Springs

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