Under the rug
Im so thankful for Ms. Ellen Parkers promoting of fairness for all in her recent commentary, Level the playing field. However, in the current school redistricting plans, more than 200 kids from my community have NOT been treated fairly. While kids from other communities will be allowed to attend their closest community school, all kids from my parcel will be transported to not the closest school, not the second closest one, not the third closest one, but the farthest-away new school.
Transporting kids with higher EOG math and reading scores from my parcel to the farther away Northside to gerrymander the schools numbers upwards will do more harm than good to all kids, especially kids from the communities with lower scores. Hiding the problems of a school with a short-term solution such as inflating the schools scores does nothing to solve the real underlying problem. Rather, it simply crates a facade of success which is undermined by the reality.
Without the inflated numbers, kids with lower scores would get more attention, more help, and more resources. Accordingly, appropriate strategy and actions can also be taken to solve the problems. However, with the rosy picture it has painted, it seems everything would be fine and therefore opportunities to truthfully help the kids that need help would be missed. Its time to face the facts: we have kids who are under-performing due to various causes, and our deepest responsibility is to find the root of this and fix it, rather than sweeping it under the rug.
Assigning kids to their closest schools would be the most effective and efficient way of redistricting the schools. With the money saved from not having to buy extra buses and gas each year, the school district could hire more teachers, buy more supplies, and obtain more resources to help the kids improve their grades. In addition, it could prevent kids who would be transported far away from losing sleeps and taking longer bus rides.
In terms of social responsibility, my community has taken its fair share and its time for other communities to step up. In our backyard, there are Freedom House and the future homeless shelter. Itll be fairer if other communities will take this opportunity to take their fair share of social service in the current school redistricting. Honglin Xiao Chapel HillGOP and the cliff
My calendar tells me that its been a little less than five weeks since the election where Romney and Ryan promised not to cut Medicare. They even criticized Obama for Medicare cuts (which were to hospitals, not seniors).
Now I read that Republicans may push us over the fiscal cliff if we do NOT cut Medicare!!
I hope that my fellow seniors who were gullible enough to believe that Republicans want to preserve Medicare will know better next election.George Entenman Chapel HillMental health mistake
An article entitled, Medicaid changes put lodging for 2,000 in group homes at risk by Lynn Bonner, was published in the N&O in November. Thankfully, it brought to light again the potentially catastrophic omission in the states budget that removes temporary funding to group home facilities for people living with mental illness. This error puts many of our states most vulnerable citizens at risk for homelessness. In the weeks that have followed this budget decision, there have been many calls for legislators to meet in an emergency session to correct this situation.
As a local advocate for the mentally ill, Mental Health America of the Triangle (MHAT) wishes to add its voice in support of a call for an emergency session of the legislature to correct the language and budgeting error that omitted needed funding for North Carolinas group home facilities. Individuals living with a mental illness are often vulnerable and may not transition easily to new living situations; however, due to circumstances outside their control, thousands are now at-risk. MHAT believes these individuals should not pay the price for the budget error. Our legislators have the opportunity to right this wrong before the bill goes into effect on January 1, 2013. Not to act would be truly shameful.
While the Blue Ribbon Commission for Transitions to Community Living studies options for long-term solutions around this complex issue there is a simple, straightforward, short-term, and absolutely necessary solution. We ask our legislators to agree to an emergency session for this one item to correct their error and provide language in the bill allowing six months of funding for group homes in the same manner it has provided for adult care homes.
MHAT respectfully calls on Gov. Perdue and the legislature to join together so that thousands of citizens living with a mental health condition will not be further disenfranchised. For those who wish to find out more about this important social justice issue or who want to directly engage local legislators in dialogue, please join with Mental Health America of the Triangle, Joshs Hope, NAMI-Durham, NAMI-Orange, Caramore Communities, Threshold Clubhouse and Club Nova at the 35th annual Mental Health Legislative Breakfast, Saturday, Jan. 26 in Chapel Hill. For more information, visit mhatriangle.orgMichael Jokich President Mental Health America of the TriangleA balanced approach
This January, core government functions such as scientific research, education, public safety, and environmental protection will face deep cuts under budget sequestration. If lawmakers cannot put politics aside to avoid continued cuts to these programs, our nations security, global competitiveness, and economic growth will be compromised. Teachers will be taken out of classrooms, cutting-edge research will be stifled, and conservation of Americas natural resources will be diminished.
Experts agree these essential jobs and services are not the drivers of our nations debt, and these federal programs have already done more than their part to reduce the deficit cut to levels not seen since the Eisenhower presidency. I urge the president and members of Congress to work together to find a balanced approach to address the deficit and to prevent further cuts to science.Rindy Anderson Durham
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