After a few years off, it was good to see the return of a first Sunday in May tradition.
Uncle Mack did the grilling, others brought some of their favorite dishes, everyone did their share of the eating and the smiles and hugs were plentiful. The family reunion was back.
Close to Nowhere
Never send a man...
• Pop took Remy, our youngest granddaughter, to get her hair trimmed Tuesday afternoon. The girls and their mom left Wednesday for Lexington, Ky., and Remy just “had” to have her hair done (she’s ten, going on 31 -- her older sister is 12 going on 45).
Never send a man with two little girls to a hair salon!
The Preacher’s Corner
When Hillary calls back, we’re going to discuss...
Have you received any phone calls from politicians this year? I received two “personal” phone calls from Hillary Clinton — no word yet from Senator Obama or Senator McCain. Mrs. Clinton was talking so fast — I am sure she was just excited to be speaking with me — that I could not get in a word edgewise. You would have thought it was a recording! I am sure when she phones again we can have a nice long chat. Isn’t it awful what modern technology does to fine old human institutions such as conversation?
Letter To The Editor
MSMS & MSA tuition:
During the recent session, the Legislature passed a provision that for the first time will require students at the Mississippi School for Math and Science (MSMS) and the Mississippi School for the Arts (MSA) to pay $500 per semester for room and board next school year. That amounts to about $25 per week or $3.57 per day. Students who qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be exempt.
The new room and board policy was proposed by the House, and, contrary to some reports, enthusiastically adopted by the Senate and the governor.
However, there seems to be some misunderstanding about how the change came about and why it is necessary.
The MSMS is located in Columbus, and MSA is located in Brookhaven. Both serve juniors and seniors from across the state. Historically students at both institutions have attended without paying any tuition or fees for room and board. MSMS currently has 239 students at an annual cost to the state of $20,675 per student. MSA has 123 students at an annual cost to the state of $24,490 each. These costs do not include the cost of facilities construction, several millions of dollars at each locale.
The issue in Mississippi has always been one of equity. We currently spend more on a child at MSMS and MSA than we do for a student at any one of our two-year or four-year colleges. The per student state allocation to other K-12 public schools across the state is currently only $4,675, the most it has ever been.
The possibility of charges at these institutions has been openly discussed in the Legislature for a number of years. Five years ago the House Education Committee held a lengthy public hearing to discuss the matter.
There are similar institutions in other states. Some charge tuition and room and board fees, some charge just one or the other. Some do not charge at all. Where charges are applied, they range from several hundred dollars per year to several thousand.
The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, for example, charges more than $5,500 per year. The Alabama School of Fine Arts charges $3,000 per year plus an assortment of fees.
Most legislators believe that both MSMS and MSA are institutions of which we should be rightfully proud. But the fact is they serve very few students, even very few of our gifted students. At MSMS for example, the 239 students are but a fraction of the estimated several thousand gifted students in the state. In fact, of the 435 kids who enrolled in the two schools last year, 73 left before completing the year. It is very difficult to justify spending five times as much in tax dollars on some kids as on others.
Mississippians can be proud of MSMS and MSA. They produce outstanding graduates and make a significant contribution to our educational community. We in the Legislature will continue to support these fine institutions while doing our best to achieve some measure of fairness for all of our Mississippi students.
Passion for quilting spans 69 years
By Lorraine Thomas
Willie Mae Pegues’ passion for quilting can be seen throughout many homes in the small community of Waterford. The Nine Patch, Wedding Ring, Broken Star, Trip Around the World, Flower Garden, Bow Tie and the Six and Eight Point Star are but a few of the patterns she uses.
Please take time to remember our local “heroes” who are serving in war zones around the world. If you’d like to add a name to this list, please contact The South Reporter, attn. Linda Jones, P.O. Box 278, Holly Springs, MS 38635; 662-252-4261; or email: email@example.comJames Marcus Anthony, Army, 2nd tour, Iraq
Mark W. Clark II, Army, Iraq
Battle Ewing, Army, Iraq
Lee (Brandon) Hutchens, Marines, Iraq
George Frank Frayser, Army, 3rd tour, Iraq
Charles Fairbairn, Army, Iraq, ’05-06; now in Afghanistan
Brandon W. Freeman, National Guard, Iraq
Jarod Grimes, Army, Iraq
Henry A. Jones, Army, Iraq
Donnie Kirksey, Marines, Iraq
Kelvin O. Luse, Marines, 2nd tour, Iraq
Matthew McArthur, Marines, Iraq
Michael McClatchy, Army, Iraq
George Merritt, Marines, Iraq
Chad Minor, Air Corps Intelligence, Iraq
William D. Payton Jr., Air Force, Kuwait
Chadwick (Chad) Phillips, Army, 2nd tour, Iraq
Deron Randolph, Marines, Iraq
Ben Rogers, Army Ranger, Iraq
John Snow, Army, 2 tours Iraq, now in Afghanistan
Charles (Will) Stanback, National Guard, Iraq
Stephnie Taylor, Air Force, Iraq
Lynwood Turner, National Guard, 2nd tour, Iraq
Charles Weathersby, Marines, Iraq
Supporting Our Troops!
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