Thursday, May 19, 2005

Letters to the Editor

MAEP budget:
Letter to the editor:

Well, I thought this might happen. What am I talking about?...the states funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP). Our “statesmen” left Jackson without a MAEP budget in place. This will mandate a special session, and require our “Statesmen” to return to Jackson, at your expense, to settle this funding as well as other budget problems.

The thing I found to be amazing is the timing. Almost to the minute that our Senate and House members departed Jackson, the liberal Democratic letter machine was in full swing. This effort appeared to be well orchestrated by the liberal Democrats in our House of Representatives. They retreated to the “ole scare tactic.”

All the liberals jumped on the bandwagon. House Democrats, the Black Caucus, teachers’ unions, the Attorney General and liberal column writers across the state. Even a second grade teacher, in the Jackson area, wrote a letter on her chalkboard had her students copy it and then sent them to the governor. Now get this, every letter had the governor’s name misspelled. This second grade teacher did not know how to spell the governor’s name correctly. However, she sure did not forget how to spell “pay raise.” What a good educator she is.

Many school superintendents sent out pink slips, House and Senate Democrats talked the doom and gloom on talk radio. Many stated “they can not make it next year without the full funding of the “MAEP.” It looked like all these folks were reading the same pre-planned talking points. I might add, that if you checked their statements, there was very little truth in any of it. Many school districts have “rainy day” funds they do not wish to use, or discuss, to help balance their school budgets. It appears they would rather take trips, join unions and associations with that extra money.

Let me make it clear, I fully support teachers. I think teachers deserve a pay raise as anyone else would. I believe the students should have access to supplies required for education. I think there are some very good teachers in Mississippi, some even going above and beyond the call of duty. They serve our future leaders extremely well day in and day out.

I also have seen some teachers that are not worth their salt. I think some teachers worry more about June, July and August, than the educational value they give our children. I think these lackadaisical teachers are easily spotted among the rest and should be relieved and replaced with quality teachers. The public education many of our children receive it well below standard. This is a direct reflection on our overpaid superintendents. I feel, as so many others do, Mississippi has too many school districts. School district consolidation should be in the forefront to save money in our education budget and force superintendent accountability.

I also have a real problem with liberals when they use scare tactics that have no validity. I see no reason for the Democrats to play partisan politics with something as important as education. I wish the liberal Democrats in Mississippi would get with the program and do what is best for our school children, our future. I wish Democrats did not use a child’s education as a way to get votes. Education is the key to better jobs and a better life, not offering an uneducated Mississippians a new social program.

Our legislators are waiting on the governor to call them back to Jackson. I am sure many are trying to get an inside tract on the governor’s items he will require them to act on during this special session. The House and Senate Democrats had their chance to do what was right and fund education at a sizeable increase over last year. They had their chance to balance the state’s budget. They had their chance to show they are looking out for Mississippi and not trying to get votes. The liberal Democrats blew it, nothing new. Now the ball is in the governor’s court. I would bet he gets it done and does what is best for Mississippi.

Dave Young
MC Republican Party

Church expresses thanks:
Dear Editor,

Church of the Living Gospel at Watson would like to thank everyone who joined us for Family Day, May 14. We had a wonderful time. Mary Pershis of Byhalia was the winner of our charcoal grill. Our community is growing, so is our church. We would love for you to grow with us. Services are Sunday morning, 10:30 and Tuesday night at 7:30.

Pastor J. Glosson

Cemetery upkeep:
To the Editor:

I would like to know who is supposed to upkeep Mt. Pleasant Cemetery?

I have been keeping my family’s graves up and I have noticed that there are limbs, leaves and headstones on the ground. The grass hasn’t been mowed. It is in terrible shape.

Even though our loved ones have left us, we need to show respect for them by keeping the graves up. I would like to know who keeps the cemetery up?

Thank you

Diane Clolinger

Parents supplying alcohol:
Dear Editor,

The 2003 National Academy of Sciences Report revealed that two-thirds of teens get alcohol from their parents or other adults. Parents who think it’s OK to host a party with alcohol for their teen need to think again. It’s irresponsible, illegal, and can have serious consequences on teens for the rest of their lives.

That’s why A&B Distributing Company and Anheuser-Busch are working with convenience stores, grocery stores, and other retailers on a responsibility program aimed at parents and adults. Titled “Prevent, Don’t Provide,” the campaign reminds adults to do their part in preventing underage drinking by not providing alcohol to minors.

The good news is government studies show that more than 26 million youth ages 12-20 are doing the right thing by not drinking, and the number of fatalities in teen drunk-driving crashes has declined by 60 percent since 1982. But we know there’s more work to do.

Many of us at A&B Distributing Company are parents too…sharing the same concerns as every other parent about underage drinking, and we know mixing teens, inexperience and alcohol can be a recipe for disaster.

Responsibility matters, and we urge parents and all adults 21 and older to join us in this fight and help prevent underage drinking…don’t provide alcohol to minors.

Joan Lunsford
Consumer Awareness & Education

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