YOUR OPINION: Letters to the editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

For-profit charter schools put the shareholders first
The Senate wants to bring for-profit charter schools to Mississippi. For-profits claim to be about educating children, but the real goal is to rake in big profits for corporate shareholders. They have been such a disaster that other states have banned them.
The Senate charter bill has a loophole designed to appease for-profit lobbyists while duping Mississippians into believing that for-profits won’t be permitted. The loophole allows for-profit corporations to manage non-profit schools – and “manage” the funds – a practice not allowed in traditional public schools.
The House closed that loophole in its bill, but the rumor is that this piece might be sacrificed to keep the Senate from killing the bill. Call your legislators and tell them to keep for-profits from managing our schools, charter or otherwise.

Jane Howell
Clinton


Loden thanks community for orientation response
On behalf of our entire staff, I would like to thank the several hundred families who recently attended the orientations held in our schools. We had an amazing turnout in our Pre-K through 8th grades. We hope these events gave you a better glimpse of what TPSD has to offer and an opportunity to meet our dedicated staff. We are always honored to showcase the diverse resources available to our students.
If you did not have an opportunity to visit one of our schools and would like to schedule a personal tour, please email us at tpsdtours@tupeloschools.com and we will be glad to arrange one.
We look forward to a fruitful and exciting year of learning in 2013-14.
Gearl Loden, Ph.D., Superintendent
Tupelo Public School District


Beware of proposal to cut Social Security
One of the worst ideas to surface in Washington lately – and that is saying something – is the proposal to cut Social Security benefits by changing the way the cost-of-living is calculated.
This plan, the so called “chained CPI,” is often portrayed as just a technical fix. In fact, it would cut our hard-earned Social Security benefits substantially, leaving us seniors with less protection against increasingly expensive health care, prescription drugs, and utilities. The only thing that is “cheap” is the talk of all the politicians who promised they would not cut Social Security benefits for current recipients.
The chained CPI breaks that pledge, cutting benefits for current seniors, and does it in a way that the longer we live, the more we lose.
In Mississippi, almost 600,000 of us are Social Security recipients. Of these, 33.9 percent rely on Social Security for 90 p[ercent or more of their income and 58.2 percent rely on Social Security for 50 percent or more of their income.
The CPI already fails to take into account that seniors spend more on health care, which is rising much faster than overall prices. And this proposal assumes, wrongly, that when prices go up, seniors can simply plug in a less expensive substitute. But seniors spend much of our money on basics such as drugs, utilities, and health care, which don’t have lower cost substitutes.
A chained CPI is out-of-touch with our daily lives. Let’s keep it out of the law.
Bruce W. Brice, Sr.
AARP Mississippi State President
Natchez