published Monday, March 11th, 2013

Vouchers are good for public schools and other letters to the editor

Vouchers are good for public schools

Vouchers are a threat to the public school system in the sense that immunization is a threat to disease.

DONALD CHEATHAM, Tullahoma, Tenn.


Congress pensions don't pay full salary

I would like to correct misinformation in recent letters about congressional pensions. They do not retire with full salary after one term; they may retire with full retirement benefit at 62 if they have 5 years of service, or at 60 with 10 years. A study by the Congressional Research Service shows those members who retired under the old Civil Service Retirement System, given to Congress members in 1946, now receive an average of $60,972 a year, and the current average salary is $165,200. Granted, the retirement benefits are quite generous if one stays in the system for 20 to 30 years, but they are never more than 80 percent of highest paid years.

There are four options for those under the old CSRS and three options for those under the newer system; Social Security, Federal Employee Retirement System and they may voluntarily participate in a Thrift Plan, which they pay into and the government matches. One needs to read the full 2007 report of the CRS, Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress for a full discussion of all the options.

Full mandatory participation in Social Security began in 1984.

With regard to Medicare: Under the Affordable Care Act they must be covered by the Act or an exchange covered by the Act. See H.R. 3590, D, (i).

MURL JACKSON


Let residents have voice in annexation

For the past 15 months, concerned citizens in the Ooltewah, Harrison, Georgetown and Birchwood areas signed petitions to incorporate the new city of Hamilton in Northeast Hamilton County. That volunteer effort was in response to the Chattanooga's policy of selectively annexing new areas north of the city before offering improved -- or in some cases, not any -- services to areas previously annexed.

Chattanooga charged annexed businesses stormwater fees that were arbitrarily calculated. Businesses that complained found that there was little consistency in what they were being charged from business to business (and church to church). It's apparent to county residents that the city is looking to grow its revenue base without first reforming its virtually bankrupt and spendthrift finances.

In the late 1990s, a Democrat-dominated state Legislature passed an Agenda 21-friendly annexation and urban planning bill that removed residents' right to vote on annexation, substituting instead the judgment of political insiders and bureaucrats who designed their own game plan. We believe Rep. Mike Carter's bill appropriately returns that voting right back to residents and returns to the fundamental American ideal of local voices having a say in their own governance.

BRENDAN JENNINGS, Rockwood, Tenn.


Others should learn from magnet schools

I think that it is great that two magnet schools in Hamilton County have been named Magnet Schools of Excellence for the second time. They are both inner-city schools and have found a way to teach effectively and thrive.

Teaching is a difficult job, and I think a lot of other schools in the area really could benefit from learning about what these schools are doing differently to turn education around for our city's children and apply it in other schools. You can tell that at Battle Academy and Center for Creative Arts, the school administration, staff and community all are working together to create a better learning environment and more individualized instruction for all students under their roof.

These kids are our future, and they deserve a quality education despite where they live or their family's socioeconomic status. Great job!

SONJA DALE

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Livn4life said...

anniebelle...you just don't get it do you? Only elites who pay the outrageous costs for private school get the best education. And if you or anyone else think the way the public school system is going it will ever be "best education", please at least consider rethinking. We have all the resources and the funding needed to be the best educational system in the world. But...we have agendas which impede actual academic learning and try to reinforce social perspectives rather than be about the business of teaching. Add to that, taking away the possibility of disciplining students on a level to get their attention and....well the "best" is somewhere else. Why do I write this? My wife is a public school teacher and can attest to all I previously posted and much much more. But no, we don't want vouchers. We want the socalled best education to be in public schools. That fell by the wayside a long long time ago.

March 11, 2013 at 8:41 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Interesting that the write of the letter is from Tullahoma. The public school in Tullahoma is good because the parents take keen interest in making sure it is good, especially math and science (many parents from Arnold and AEDC). A much better approach-community involvement, not vouchers.

March 11, 2013 at 9:03 a.m.
jjmez said...

RE: "I think a lot of other schools in the area really could benefit from learning about what these schools are doing"

Ms. Dale, those successful magnate schools took only the best and brightest to begin with. They would have shown success regardless. I recall how that now successful school across the river basically ran off and got rid of mostly poor students who were performing badly. Shut down the school for a spell, then reopened it, turning it into a magnate school and becoming exclusive and only open for a select few.

I'd rather someone stand up and say, **Give me your castaways! Those you've tossed aside and given up on. Then watch as I turn them into scholars and intellectuals. Watch me as I make them into the next Bill Gates, Steven Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Arthur Eddington, Christiaan HuygensCarl Gauss (Karl Friedrich Gauss) Dmitri Mendeleev – --------- ;)

March 11, 2013 at 9:16 a.m.
acerigger said...

What happened to anniebelle's post? I read it this morning,was a good one annie.

March 11, 2013 at 11:33 p.m.
wallyworld said...
March 12, 2013 at 10:23 a.m.
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