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Obama should speak on Buffalo’s East Side

President Obama’s Buffalo talk this week on the critical importance of higher education comes at the right time. Our country’s future is at stake. How will we prepare our kids to be tomorrow’s doctors, scientists, engineers, teachers and military leaders?

But why the University at Buffalo? He’ll be addressing an audience of scholars and professional educators, preaching to the choir, taking sand to the beach. Why not Martin Luther King Park to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington? Obama should be talking to parents of kids who have the toughest challenge in getting the education they deserve. Many kids have the decks stacked against them from the moment of birth. They grow up in single- or no-parent homes, too many with no father; grandmothers raising grandchildren.

He should be pounding on the parents to provide a nurturing home environment where education has a fighting chance. What about some federal money for Buffalo’s kids as an incentive to stay in school and graduate? Money for graduating with an A average, extra money for graduating in three years. Sure beats Solyndra.

If King was still with us, Mr. President, he’d be at the Splash Park. So should you.

Wayne Landesman

Orchard Park