LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Legislators, Barbour betray trust in proposal
Late Wednesday, Gov. Barbour issued a statement saying that the leadership of the House and Senate have agreed with him not to send to school districts the $82 million that had been promised them in HB1059.
The money was contingent upon action by the U.S. Congress to give states Medicaid funding relief. Congress did its part to relieve state budgets, but apparently state leaders are abandoning their own commitment to Mississippi’s school children and their parents.
The state funding relieved by the Medicaid dollars will, instead, be put into the Rainy Day Fund and will be available for legislators to appropriate in the coming year. There is no guarantee that the funding will be re-appropriated to K-12.
A number of school districts have said that they will have to raise taxes at the local level if the promised funding is not forthcoming this year.
In the last legislative session, House and Senate leaders won support of the budget bill that included drastic under-funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) in part by promising an alternate budget that would go into effect once Congress passed a bill that would free up what was expected to be as much as $187 million in state funding. House Bill 1059, the alternate budget bill, appropriated $82-million of that funding to public schools.
Congress passed that legislation, though it was a scaled-down version, saving Mississippi $127 million in state funds rather than the expected $187 million. Though they could re-appropriate the reduced funds on a pro-rata basis, Mississippi’s legislative leaders are apparently using the reduction from $187 million to $127 million as an excuse to back out of their commitment to enact the alternate budget.
We at The Parents’ Campaign believe it is unconscionable that state leaders would fail to keep the commitment they made to the members of their chambers and to Mississippi schoolchildren, their parents, and their teachers.
I am extremely grateful to the school leaders, teachers, parents and children who are doing all they can to mitigate the negative effects that the recession is having on our schools.
Nancy Loome
The Parents’ Campaign
Jackson

Airport schedulecomplicates businesses
The recently printed schedule for the Tupelo Airport guarantees more people will drive to Memphis and simply fly out to their final destination with one less connection.
When a large number of flights into Memphis on Delta then turnaround and take you to Atlanta, one asks why flights from Tupelo go to Memphis at all. With Memphis, you’re competing with simply driving.
For Delta, what’s the difference? Since they’re at least 75 percent of the Memphis traffic, fewer passengers originating from Tupelo means that eventually they can once again attempt to kill the service here because Memphis itself isn’t served by that many flights. After Delta took over Northwest, a huge number of connections there have gone from 1-2 hours to 2-6 hours.
After a recent position change, I now will be flying weekly to destinations with large airports like Boston or San Jose. In the past, I would have left on the Sunday late day flight so that I could get to the destination for Monday morning work. The only flight on Sunday now – 7a.m.?
I can’t figure out who this flight is intended to serve. It’s not convenient for business travelers, and vacationers would more likely have left on Friday afternoon or Saturday. The only people it might be convenient for is Delta.
Whatever analysis was done to create the new schedule for Tupelo may have looked at passenger patterns based on historical counts, but how do you really factor in the people who have been bypassing the Tupelo airport because of the inconvenient schedules that add hours to your travel time. I feel certain this new service plan will further reduce passengers coming in and out of Tupelo directly. Next year we may hear Tupelo only needs seven flights a week and then finally none. If I had convenient choices, I would use the Tupelo airport. As it stands now, I don’t see how I can make this new schedule work.
John W Harmon
Manager, IST Global Learning
Delivery Support
Americas – U.S./Latin America/Budapest
HR Integrated Services Team (IST)
Tupelo

Youth pastor praises Touched By An Angel
I am writing this letter to express how Touched By An Angel Ministries has been a blessing to me and my youth group.
I am the volunteer youth pastor for a small church on the northside of Indianapolis. Our church has been involved with Touched By An Angel for many years. Our students look forward to our annual trip to Tupelo, some saving money all year for this one trip. There are at least three students who are currently or will be pursuing a college degree in Special Needs Education, and I can testify that this is a direct result of their positive experience in Tupelo.
Several students have spent their summers on staff, making far less than they could other places.
The challenge faced by many youth pastors in today’s culture is to get students to see past themselves and to live for others first.
I know that during one week each year, I will see my students willingly and entirely live for another person. I don’t know of another place that I can take my youth group that can have such a life-changing impact – on the students, on their parents, on our church, and on me.
Eric Guion
Director of Student Ministry
Hope Church
Indianapolis

Family of handicapped son praises ministry
Our family just wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the tremendously positive impact that Touched by an Angel Ministries in Tupelo has had on our son, Ben, who is 17 years old and has Down syndrome.
You may or may not be aware of the limited resources that are available for our children and young adults with special needs, but this ministry has been providing a much-needed experience for Ben during the past several years. Ben has spent numerous weekends, as well as weeks during the summer, at the camp.
Not only does Ben consider it home-away-from-home, the counselors who work with him and his peers are rewarded with an experience that can be found in very few places. We have come to know and love the wonderful people who created TBAAM as members of our family. The time Ben spends at TBAAM affords my husband and me a time of respite during which we know that Ben is not only being cared for and loved, but having a great social experience. We gladly drive the 90 miles from our home in Memphis to the camp to make this happen for Ben.
I hope you will help us to spread the word about this positive, uplifting, and caring facility where so many people like Ben have had such special opportunities to be campers. Thank you so very much for your consideration, and do not hesitate to contact us should you need any additional information.
Elizabeth J. Sumner
President
ServiceMaster Landscape
Memphis

Far left bad-mouths Beck without listening
I am getting sick of all these far left stations and TV hosts and Internet senders bad-mouthing Glenn Beck over the conservative Tea Party – Chris Matthews, Ed Shultz and the Huffington Post in particular.
If you want to know what Beck says and what he stands for, then I suggest watch his whole show and not just take a small excerpt out of it.
Also do the same for Sarah Palin. Both of these people tell more truth in their little finger than most on the far left.
I dare any of you who will watch Beck for a whole week to understand what he is really saying, and if you don’t change your mind, then you are so far left that nothing will change your mind even if it hit you in the face.
Juanita Horstman
Hamilton

Independent Christians have no biblical sanction
I read with interest the recent column in the Daily Journal on Christ’s believers breaking away from the local church and the Christian faith, yet claiming to maintain that they are believers in Christ.
This view is not supported by God’s word.
Hebrews 10: 25 states, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.”
The church is made up of a group of people who believe in, and belong to, Jesus Christ.
The church is both local and universal and every born-again believer is a member of the body of Christ.
Every born-again Christian is a member of the universal church of Christ, but sadly not every Christian has taken up fellowship with a local Bible-believing church.
Many people say they don’t want to attend church because they see actions in the members they don’t approve of or they deem hypocritical. Christians are just forgiven sinners; we are not perfected yet.
As flawed and deficient as we are, we are the best thing going! There is no other institution on earth that can provide hope to the people in the world. The church is God’s idea and He hasn’t given up on it! God wants us to be in a relationship with a Christ centered local church.
While it is true that Christians are saved by the Savior and not a local church, the local church is the visible expression of the universal church. It just baffles me that people who claim to love Christ have no interest in affiliating themselves with a local church body.
Romans 12:10 says for Christians to “be devoted to one another.”
Christians are God’s kids and we should love one another in a way that non-Christians are jealous and want to be a member or our family!
Sure the church has defective people, I’m one of them. You don’t abandon your own physical body when it has imperfections, nor should you abandon the body of Christ.
Danny Littleton
Tupelo

NEMS Daily Journal