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With cuts can state maintain quality of life?

Published: May 25, 2012

“Winning sound-bite battle should be last on to-do list” (Our Views, May 17) said, “Now that Kansas has slashed its income tax to 4.9 percent, that rate appears to be the governor's immediate goal to ensure Oklahoma remains competitive.” A question missing is this: Can Oklahoma remain competitive in quality-of-life matters?

The “Sunshine Review” indicates Kansas spends $29.8 billion on state and local government while Oklahoma spends $23.6 billion. Oklahoma has almost a million more people than Kansas. According to National Center of Education data, Kansas spends $2,146 more per student on common education than Oklahoma. Oklahoma would have to spend $1.4 billion more per year on PreK-12 education to compete with Kansas' financial resources. An increase of $2,146 per student would be an additional $88 million per year to Tulsa Public Schools and $92 million per year to Oklahoma City Public Schools.

The quality of our transportation system, recreational opportunities, care of our most vulnerable citizens, safety and education systems shouldn't be forgotten if we want to compete with other states.

Rick Martin, Prague

Martin is superintendent of Prague Public Schools.