“I firmly believe that a basic college education should be the responsibility of society, much like a K-12 education is now. In today’s world a high school education is not sufficient to compete globally or for that matter within our own country. Unfortunately… this country views education in the same moral light as it does in subsidizing the killing of unborn children through abortion.”
When Something Does Not Make Sense
Where has our educational journey taken our country since our forefather came to America in the 1600’s? How is it until the 1950’s an eight grade diploma prepared people for a productive life with skills necessary for business and raising a family? Now high school, college, and advanced degrees do not seem to be enough to do what some 60 years ago was more than adequate?
Our education system today appears to be the current “scared cow” for our country. Yet internationally our students have fallen academically for being 1st to at least 26th in science/math since the 1950’s. More $ continues to be spent in our public school for the benefit of education to our children, yet our graduating student our falling behind their parents and grandparents in useable & practical reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Massive amounts of $ I going into buildings, school consolidations, administrations, activities, and “new age” classes (i.e., classes outside of math, English/;literature, science, spelling, writing, history/geography, and music). Most school districts (just for our children) cannot wait to go into more debt (on top of massive property taxes). Hastings Public Schools borrowed $20 million in 2008 and another $7 million in 2011. Adams Central School (just west of Hastings) tried in 2010 and again in 2011 to add $15 million to the property taxpayers burden. (Note – cost per student each year in approximate; public schools ($13,000), private schools ($7,000), and home schools ($500). By the way, Miss America 2010 was home schooled!)
Until the 1950’s the financial priority was to the teach and the subject the teacher taught. Now it is in buildings, activities, administration, and non-core classes. Our country cannot sustain itself by the agenda to financially break the people while delivering less useable knowledge to our children. We must begin financially rewarding good teacher and give our teacher dominion over their classrooms. Yes, children must learn consequences outside the home, also.
So to a local issue. Adams Central School District has not been a problem for excellent quality of graduates. So why is the Adams Central School Board determined to change from a very successful educational arrangement. That arrangement is small elementary school feeding into a larger Junior/Senior Hugh academia. Adams Central High students continue to excel to the jealousy of the rest of Nebraska schools. Yet the Adams Central School Board wants to change from a proven and successful education system. There is a good rule of thumb ‘not to change something that is not broken!”
Threats have been delivered from the Adams Central School Board in their “Plan B” to 1) cut busing of children, 2) eliminate two small schools, and 3) raise property taxes anyway if people in their district did not vote for the bond issue to build one large elementary school. Does this sound like a board committed to serve our successful school? If not, maybe our people of this school district will come up with a “Plan C!”
A dear friend of mine suggested this to me, the thought has become an important one, and the thought has prevailed…
An Open Letter To My Friends, Supporters, and Those Who Do Not Know Me…
That I should assure my friends, encourage my supporters, and inform those who will hear of me for the first time – seems best done personally, and in writing.
I will be campaigning for State Senator, Nebraska’s 33rd District, up to Election Day itself – regardless of the personal costs and difficulties of doing so. My only aim in doing so is to serve what is common in all men and women; rich, poor, struggling or somewhere in between – and regardless of whether Democratic, Republican, Independent or Libertarian.
My decision to run for office is predicated by several key factors. Chief among these factors is the state of our nation, our state itself, our counties, our cities/villages, neighborhoods, precious farm lands and natural resources. All of which are truly “ours”; and we must take ownership and responsibility for all of the above. When I use the term “state of” I am referring to a long history of unbridled and many times unnecessary spending – with resulting debt and increasing taxation at all levels. I am also referring an erratic economy that is burdened by taxation and regulation. The good people of Nebraska find it increasingly hard to find employment, make their house payments, and to maintain any expectation of a better tomorrow. I am referring to a time, that is the current time, in our history where the voice of common sense and reason (that is prudence) must be heard, considered and prevail at our Legislature. Yes the “voice” must oppose all interests that may challenge prudence.
For those of you who know me you are aware that I have been a farmer, a building contractor, a Marine officer in combat in Vietnam, a General’s aide, an agricultural sector employee, a man who will fight for the recall of an erring public official, a man who strives to preserve and return the former, historic and loved Hastings Middle School to its rightful owners – the public (and not special interests). You also know that I graduated from the University of Nebraska in Agriculture, yet I do not hold a prestigious education or noteworthy professional pedigree, nor do I belong to exclusive clubs or organizations. Essentially stated my pedigree is identical to the pedigree of most Nebraskans: we work hard, we work honestly, we pay our taxes, and we are concerned over (what is) the net result of the last fifty years of governance – a sea of debt, taxes which can only increase, a difficult job market, a high cost of education our young and a litany of other impediments to our personal well-being, to our life, to our liberty and to our pursuit of happiness.
What is startling to me is at the same time very comforting. I have spoken to many hundreds of Nebraskans throughout our state; the rich, the poor, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, those in high schools, on the farms and ranches, those in law enforcement, in the cities and villages, colleges and the work force in general. Everyone holds the same beliefs as I do – that change must come; that the unmitigated voice of the workforce, the farmer, the student, those who are retired, and all others, must be very clearly heard. Most importantly, hope must be restored. Also, the voice of the citizens is in fact the “conscience” that must be argued and voted, not bartered, nor diluted. It is reasonable to me that elected officials must demonstrate the same courage in official life daily, when voting, and when working with and responding to constituents. These fundamental truths are shown by the people of Nebraska in their daily lives of working, paying their bills, their taxes, and saving and charity.
While I accept small donations I am not making any effort to acquire the “war chests” which almost always characterize elections … yard signs, bumper stickers, full page advertisements in local newspapers, etc. Even if I did possess significant resources I would refrain from spending large amounts of my own money, or soliciting large amounts of money from others, as it makes sense to me that large war chests simply result in advertizing personalities. These personalities detract from the real issues, and the most important issue today is: the need for change, made prudently, in the best interests of principle and law. Then we can restore protections regarding people’s property and people’s rights.
In closing, being elected into civil government is truly a “walk of faith.”
God Bless us all,
1964- Farming at home in Maywood, NE with a 1953 Case Tractor. I still have that tractor!
1976- Doing minimum till wheat summer fallow southwest Paxton NE. using a homemade 4 wheel drive tractor, pulling Noble built “V” blades. The implement left the straw and trash on top while under cutting unwanted weeds/grass, this saved valuable moisture. We built 3 of these 220 horsepower tractors.
1971- Vietnam-QueSon, Southwest of DaNang. Lt. Hughes (left to right) artillery forward observer with 1st Bn. 5th Marines. Our Navy corpsman and the company “Gunny”.
1988- Roofing a barn near Paxton, NE. I placed an Army corps of engineers mechanical ladder on a used NPPD service truck, to work on the tricky spots.
1972- Govenor’s office Linocln, NE. Governor Exon signing a proclamation celebratin the U.S. Marine Corps 196th Brithday. (Captain Hughes 2nd from left)