Letters to the Editor: Feb. 23, 2014

‘Our children must have the resources sufficient for success’

LODEN

LODEN

Funding for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) needs your voice. Whether you are a parent, business person or a community activist, there is no more important legislation than House Bill 1476 to impact our children and this state’s economy. Tomorrow, our legislators will reconsider this bill which will determine how much MAEP will receive for next year. This bill needs to be amended to reflect an increase in funding.

MAEP was intended to fund the most basic resources to school districts – items like textbooks, teacher pay, utility bills and buses. These are not luxury items. The consequences of inadequately funding this program in the past have been sobering. Our teachers have not been able to receive a pay raise in seven years. Mississippi’s starting teacher salary is $30,900. This is simply not enough to attract and keep our brightest educators. Over the past six years, Tupelo Schools have been underfunded an estimated $17 million. Even the two times MAEP was fully funded, this was still addressing school districts’ essential needs. Our children must have the resources that are sufficient for success.

Our state’s economy has stabilized considerably. We need an overwhelming push for a long-term investment in adequate education. Today or tomorrow, I encourage you to contact your representative and the House Leadership by phone, email, text message or social media. Go to www.msparentscampaign.org to find this contact information. Let them know that now is the time to demonstrate the courage and the will to create a solid three to five-year plan to fund this program. We need their pledged fiscal support of our schools.

Tupelo is considered a trendsetter in our state – in voice and in action. Let’s do that now by letting our public officials know that it’s time to invest in our children like never before.

Gearl Loden

Superintendent

Tupelo Public School District

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When will President Obama finish the transformation?

My letter is in response to Tim Long’s letter as he responded to Arvin Mosley’s criticism of Republicans. Anyone who disagrees with President Barack Obama is hateful and must be Republican. I agree 110 percent with Mr. Long and I doubt anyone can change Mr. Mosley’s mind. The president said he was going to “fundamentally” transform this country. Does anyone know when he is going to be through?

When it’s all said and done, President Obama and Democrats are not going to care about the livelihood of their supporters and that includes mainstream media, but I guess if they want to “fall” on the “sword” it’s their prerogative. Someone once said the American people can be fed a teaspoon. I’ll use “lies” instead of what the “someone” said but the “dump truck” is now in reverse. But evidently the truck has not gone in Mr. Mosley’s neighborhood.

Judy Dunaway

Saltillo