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Facts about schools troubling
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Jefferson County Schools is out and is available for community review at www.JeffcoPublicSchools.org.
Here are a few quotes taken straight from this report:
• As enrollment declines, some variable costs are avoided (approximately 40 percent).
• Salaries and benefits increased $12 million, with increases for cost of living, steps, benefits for the Public Employees’ Retirement Association, and two one-time, 1 percent payments to employees.
• Compensation expenses increased for 2010 due to late settlement with the teachers union — $8 million.
Here is some additional information taken from www.JeffcoPublicSchools.org:
There are two “high performing” neighborhood high schools in Jefferson County. In 2009-10 at one of these schools, 44 percent of ninth-graders were not proficient in writing. In 2009-10 at the other “high performing” high school, 53 percent of ninth-graders were not proficient in math.
I’m concerned.
Regan Benson

Causes of violence not understood
I’m writing to comment on the column, “In America, a flood tide of murder,” in the Denver Post on Jan. 13. In his article, Mr. Herbert paints a dramatic picture of American violence and bloodshed using phrases such as, “insanely violent society” and “a society saturated in blood.” Mr. Herbert ends his article with a somewhat disconnected solution to the problem: “radically restrict the availability of guns,” work to “change a culture that glorifies and embraces violence” and “end the wars overseas” because they are part of the same “crippling pathology.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Herbert misunderstands both the problem and the solution. It should be no surprise when people act as though human life is worthless when the evolutionary doctrine taught to them from kindergarten to college indicates that human life is, essentially, worthless. We cannot expect respect for human life when we teach that it is irrelevant.
“Ending wars overseas” is a difficult subject. But what about when the war is waged against the likes of Adolf Hitler, or Joseph Stalin, or the “Butcher of Bagdad”? I suggest that war is viable when waged to preserve human life.
In the Declaration of Independence we read, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights … .” I believe this, and as a creature of God I respect the value of human life, including my own. Thus, until a real solution to violence is found I will maintain the unalienable right to defend my life, and the lives of others by the use of firearms. But, I wish Mr. Herbert well on his quest for a solution.
Dan Griffiths