Don’t cut incentives for teachers
I am a public school teacher, and I teach special education. Last week President Donald Trump revealed his plans to cut funding for public education. His plan also calls to end the Loan Forgiveness Plan for Teachers who teach is high-need areas and in high-need schools.
I do not think it is acceptable to end this program when over 500,000 public employees are about to receive our forgiveness during the next fiscal year. The program was started to recruit more teachers and to combat the rising cost of higher education.
Teachers do not enter teaching to get rich. We enter to teach and to make the world better for the next generation.
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If making money were my main goal, I would have become a congressman and voted for pay raises every year, voted for a pension even after only one term of service and excellent health care. I believe Congress is taking care of itself while the rest of the public servants (teachers, police, EMS, firefighters, etc.) are left to fend for ourselves. Please stand up for our rights and not remain silent because you need money from lobbyists for the next election.
If this program is cut, the number of teachers who will enter the professional will decrease, the number of teachers leaving the professional will continue to increase, and public school will continue to decline. If you want to make public school better, Congress needs to give resources to public schools and teachers. Charter school and vouchers only throw gas on the fire as the money does not follow the child but stays with the charter school if the child leaves. Meanwhile, the students and teachers continue to suffer.
Robert D. Griffin
Health care is vital issue in election
As we know, Congress has been debating options regarding the current health law – many of which would drastically affect the livelihood of older citizens. Discussions of Medicare vouchers, imposing a so-called “Age Tax” on those 50-64, and eliminating coverage for pre-existing health conditions have been on the table and are troubling.
For the 81,000 voters in Congressional District 5’s 14 counties stretching across rural and suburban communities, it’s important to know where the nominees stand on these critical concerns before voters cast their ballots on June 20.
Current law also prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage, charging higher premiums and imposing coverage limits or exclusions on people with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, these are at risk with the recently House-passed measure. Such basic protections, supported by a majority of the American people, are especially important for older folks seeking health coverage in the individual marketplace.
In fact, a recent AARP study found 42 percent of adults in South Carolina ages 50-64 – or about 400,861 people – could be denied health coverage because of a pre-existing condition if they sought to buy an individual plan. Only 12 states across the country have a higher percentage than the Palmetto State. In turn, if such basic protections are eliminated, high-risk pool premiums for these people could be as high as $25,700 annually in the individual insurance marketplace.
With nearly two out of every three voters expected to be 50 years or older on June 20, they deserve to know where each candidate stands on these important issues. The financial burden of a health care “Age Tax” and discriminating against nearly a half million older South Carolinians with pre-existing conditions would be a disaster for their personal pocketbooks and our state’s economy.