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letters | examining a gift at MIT

A sympathetic ear, with some hearing lapses

10-month-old Marie Follett looked at her reflection at the new David H. Koch Childcare Center at MIT.

Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe

10-month-old Marie Follett looked at her reflection at the new David H. Koch Childcare Center at MIT.

It’s wonderful that David Koch was so touched by the need of MIT researchers for child care that he has donated $20 million to provide child care for 126 children at the university (“Scientists at MIT get prized gift of day care,” Page A1, Oct. 4).

The article notes that Koch is “known as much for his conservative activism as for his generosity.” He has spent far more than $20 million on his conservative activism.

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The politicians he supports have been leaders in cutting the federal budget. The cuts in March, known as the sequester, meant that 57,000 poor children nationwide have been denied Head Start child-care services. In addition, in Massachusetts alone, there are more than 30,000 low-income children on the waiting list for child-care subsidies, which are largely federally funded. This number has grown significantly as a result of cuts in federal funding.

The article quotes Koch as saying, “I’ve never seen a group of people speak with such passion and such disappointment that a problem existed and it wasn’t being fixed.” Can’t he hear the passionate voices of the tens of thousands of families deprived of Head Start services and the additional tens of thousands here in Massachusetts desperate for a child-care subsidy so that they can go to work?

John A. Lippitt

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