The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on September 15, 2002 · Page 9
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 9

Hays, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Page 9
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A10 • SUNDAY • SEPTEMBER 15,2002 • THE HAYS DAILY NEWS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION RACE: Morris doesn't back down from stance • CONTINUED FROM PAGE Al Morris has stated many times she wants to bar children of illegal immigrants from schools, and if a student doesn't learn English in a set amount of time, his or her parents should pay for private tutoring. She believes letting immigrants in school is costing taxpayers too much money. She thinks there are more important ways to spend money. "The line must be drawn somewhere, and in this time of economic slump, facing an expensive war and numerous educational challenges, the time has come to empower the everyday citizen to help defend against illegal criminal behavior," Morris said in a media statement released Tuesday. In a telephone interview Thursday, Morris called the situation desperate. While she was sorry for the children caught in the middle of this debate, she once again said their parents must be held accountable. She went on to say this is a national problem and that changes at the national level are needed to bring about serious transformations. "The illegals need to realize they will not get a free education for their children," she said. While she is fully aware of the Supreme Court decision, Morris said it can be overturned. "A lot of talented people be- lieve this way," she said. "We can make changes without a lot of cost." Because there is no Democratic candidate, Morris is the presumed winner. However, Rundell responded to a large number of request to launch a campaign as a write-in candidate. While the odds of any write-in candidate winning an election are not good, the controversy surrounding Morris could give Rundell a chance. "It will be a long, hard pull, but we are trying to get people to remember to write in my name and darken the oval or make an X," Rundell said. "School teachers have been really upset. The Hispanic community is up hi arms. People are saying it's a necessity that I run." Sharon Befort, Hays USD 489 School Board president, will favor Rundell because she believes he has represented western Kansas well. "I support his write-in campaign," Befort said. "I don't endorse the comments Morris made about immigrants. Every child deserves an education. Those sort of comments don't help. They hurt Kansas." Befort was disappointed when she heard the primary results. She blamed low voter turnout as a culprit. "I don't think her view is shared by most people in the state of Kansas," she said. "She (Mor- ris) is advocating to do something that the Supreme Court says can't be done." During the primary campaign, Morris traveled everywhere in the district; Rundell generally stayed home. Morris visited every county fair, parade or festival she could. She talked for many hours with citizens who were upset with the way education was being administered in this state. She said that was one key to her primary victory. She campaigned on a no-tax pledge, although it's the Legislature that establishes tax rates, not the State Board of Education. Her ideas were considered radical, but they apparently struck a chord with voters. Before the primary, little was made of her controversial stances on immigrants and her stance that a single superintendent could oversee multiple districts. After all, she was a longshot to beat Rundell, the 14-year incumbent, she said. When she did win, and when the realization hit she would be on the board, the heavy criticism started. "I'm not afraid to sacrifice my comfort," she said. "I'm not that worried. I've gotten a lot of phone calls and e-mails supporting me." Rundell won't make the mistake of not campaigning again. He already has several appearances lined up. He appeared in a parade in Garden City Saturday and he will be in Hays Thursday. The Rundell campaign has recruited several volunteers in the Hays area to assist getting the word out about his views. Nancy Harman, principal of O'Loughlin Elementary School in Hays, has been impressed with Rundell's tenure and his commitment to education. "He's committed to watch out for the children," Harmon said. "I would encourage citizens to become well versed in the issues." Regi Wieland, executive director of the Fort Hays Educational Development Center in Hays, also decided to get involved politically for Rundell. She was surprised by the primary results but thought it was a case of the Rundell supporters becoming too complacent. "People need to get informed and go vote," she said. "We are getting way too apathetic and complacent when it comes to voting." Wieland believes strongly enough in Rundell's goals that she jumped into the political arena for the first time. She wants citizens to see what Rundell stands for. Asked about his chance of winning, Wieland said, "Anything's possible. If people support his view, campaigning on his behalf would help." There are no requirements for who can be a write-in candidate. There will be a blank line bneath Morris' position on the ballot. Any write-ins have to be hand counted. LAW PROFESSOR: touAt ' HAYS DAILY NeW$ A University of-Kansas law professor said-the Supreme Coifrt ruling in-a 1983 Case prohibiting states from denying the children of Utej&l immigrants access to education never has been seriously challenged •In the 1983 Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Cottrfcruling said illegal aliens could claim the benefit of the equal protection clause, which provides that no state shall den&tti aiiy person" the benefit of jurisdiction ifl! the equal protection of the laws. , Rick Levy, a professor at KU, said the case cable about from Mexican childten'who had.en- tered the United Stetesollegally and were being denied $bceSS to- Texas schools. The ruling said Texas' stance r vlolated"equal protection. This traces backHo the 14th amendment, Levy said."The cciurt was'.concerned, that children were ttofresppn* sible for their illegal status," Levy said. "They &re just'.kids,' Pifeventlng the'm from .educa-" tion could make them permanently underclass.-.There are severe consequences." , > • In "19 years, the Supreine Court has - not been asked, 'to consider a similar case. Hov^fo- er, Levy said because the'cbm- position of the Supreme Covad has changed, if a similar case were to make it that far, there is PROTECTION' UNCHALLENGED '"a*chance' the justice! Blight overturn the earlier decision. "Justice (William) Rehn- qiiist and Justice (Sandra) O'Connor dissented on the brigi-< nal case," Levy said.' "They might pick up (Antonin) Scalia and (Clarence) Thomiis. The only question might be (Anthony) Kennedy. In the meantime, states such as Kansas cannot violate and deny education." Connie Morris, the Republican primary winner for the Kansas State Board of Education's 5th District, does not. believe the state should educate the > children of illegal immigrants. To'Start this process, she would' • have to convince the State Board :.of Ejducation to deny rights. Pre. suitably the state would besued, • and many steps would need to • take place even to get the case to Where the Supreme Court would , consider it, Levy said. Levy said what makes this , case interesting is that states can treat Illegal immigrant dif- ferenfly.However, the court has ruled some rights are so impor- • -tant that they won't make a distinction between American citizens and illegal aliens. Nonetheless, that was not ,' the rationale in this case, Levy said. The right to education apparently isn't one of those. Still, the court ruled states can't deny education because it would violate equal protection, a constitutional right. Morris claim that illegal immigrants abuse welfare system is denied By SARAH KESSINGER HARRIS NEWS SERVICE TOPEKA — First it was education. Now western Kansas school board candidate Connie Morris is alleging that illegal immigrants abuse the state's welfare and food stamp system. Not true, a state welfare official says. Morris, St. Francis, won the Republican primary in the 5th District race for State Board of Education by defeating Board President I.B. "Sonny" Rundell of Syracuse. Since then, she has received much press on her hope to ban illegal immigrant children from Kansas schools. Morris acknowledges that the U.S. Supreme* Court years ago ruled'^thafe public schools could not exclude undocumented children. But she says she wants that to change. In a statement released to the media on Tuesday this week, she said Kansas taxpayers should not be expected to pay for such youngsters' education. She complained that they also get other public services free. "Senior citizens often work part- time just to pay bills—yet the illegal alien is provided a free education, welfare, food stamps, medical care," Morris'wrote. "We cannot afford to continue to be held hostage to this kind of loose and unpatriotic expenditure of the American dollar." State social service official Dennis Priest said that is wrong. "A simple answer is, if you're undocumented you don't have and never have been allowed access to any of our programs — welfare, food stamps and Medicaid," said Priest, administrator for economic and employment support in the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. Priest said Congress even cut back on legal immigrants' access when it passed federal welfare reform in 1996. That, officials expect, had a chilling effect on im- Service of Hays We Sp ze In I would like to extend my sincere Thanks to Mr. Bob Maxwell for his tribute to my parents, Mr, ( & .Mrs, Paul A. Unrein, 'at the'S^tember JjL, f < 2Q02'£omfn6$6ral*ve' Services held at theAmericai) Legion. " ' our country on September 11, 2001 and the heroes associated with that tragedy. Bob also took time to recognize some of our !a whichlncluded my ovy the gr$at Q^ bestowed ts 'ana our family by doing so. Thank you, Bob Maxwell, for being such a great friend to my parents and remembering them in such a special way f ,We also feel that 1 'out parents, ate truly heroes. '' ;*" Sheila Marcotte Kathy Shannon Arlyn Unrein Becky Martin Glenn Unrein Eye Health News from Eye Specialists Associated, P.A. Thomas McDonald, M.D. 2214 Canterbury Drive • Suite 312 Hays, Kansas 67601 800/658-4644 • 785/628-8218 i, j John Pokomy, M.D. MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE According to new research, patients. eyedrops may work just as well as an eye patch in correcting moderate amblyopia (commonly known as "lazy eye") in some children. In amblyopia, the brain relies more on one eye than the other. As a result, the part of the brain circuitry connected to the less-favored eye fails to develop properly. Standard treatment calls for covering the stronger eye with a patch, which forces the weaker eye to work harder and put itself on a par with the stronger eye. Getting children to wear patches, however, can be a trying experience. The good news is that airopine eye drops, used once daily, blur vision effectively enough in the stronger eye to offer an alternative to the patch in some Our goal at EYE SPECIALISTS ASSOCIATED is to offer complete personal and quality eye care for the entire family. We keep current with the latest research findings on how to treat vision problems efficiently and with minimal discomfort to the patient. We treat vision problems including amblyopia, myopia 'and "astigmatism. September is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month. Call us at 785-628-8218. Our office is open until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays. We are located at the Miller Medical Pavilion at 2214 Canterbury Drive, Suite 312. P.S. Many regard amblyopia as the most common cause of visual impairment in children. migrants in general, discouraging them from applying for public aid. A U.S.-born child of undocumented immigrants is a U.S. citizen. That child has full right to services, Priest said. But many times, the parents, won't apply out of fear of being reported to immigration officials or simply because of confusion about who is eligible. On Friday Morris said she was pleased to learn she was incorrect. "If I misspoke, then I'm glad," she said. Morris later said she really meant that illegal immigrants use false identification to access welfare and food stamps. But Priest said that immigrant fraud has not arisen as a problem in Kansas services. Morris said she had no documentation of her allegations. "Prom what I hear on the streets, they do qualify," she said. Priest said anyone who is poor enough can qualify for emergency Medicaid, but that is only for short- term, urgent situations. If a person were in a car crash, for example, then Medicaid might pay the cost to stabilize that person. But the long- term care would not be covered. Morris said she does not expect the school board to take up her belief in banning undocumented students. "I guess I brought it up as a taxpayer," she said. "I don't think it's something the school board will address at all." For all your - I BUSINESS Nick NJeraberger LOANS Locally Owned 8c Operated Since 1920 . -<"• GOLDEN BELT BAM F.S.A. f^f Hays 625-7345 JIXESS Chris Drolling t=l Ellis 726-3157 FDIC Thank You Fred and 1 wish to thank our friends and relatives for your prayers, get well, birthday and anniversary cards, flowers, visits, calls and gifts when I was in the hospital for my birthday and for our anniversary. They all helped to make my hospital stay easier and my birthday and our anniversary beautiful days that we will always remember. .,. / also thank DK Richards, the nurses and therapists at HMC for the care I received, Rev. St&ntdn">and Rev. Miller for their visits. We thank* our loving family for coming to our celebration and our daughters and sons-in-law who stayed to help with my care. All these things were greatly appreciated and will always be remembered. Fred and Joy Click CoiMe Join Us Wed., Sept. IS 8 %m. -5 p.m. Honoring OtA* 30th Anniversary Chamber of Commerce Recognition 10 a.m. • Offering A Full Line . Of Office Products ^ Machines, Furniture and Service Support ^ • Digital Copkrs & Printers ^ • ColQj|Copiers & Printers • Fax & Multifunctional Machines • Recharged Laser Print©r Cartridges IP* iHl m RICOH SAVIN HEWLETT PACKARD EPSON "Serving Central & Western OFFICE SUPPLY, INC. Hays & Colby :i 101 Main 785-625-5666 or 1-800-794-4626 Hays, KS.

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