Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - October 1, 2007

School district is unresponsive, too

I would like to respond to a letter from Mikki Rentschler last week where she was responding to the move of Rock Hill High and South Pointe to Region 4AAAA. I find it interesting that a Rock Hill school board member found a decision by the S.C. High School League ridiculous and lacking in common sense. Now perhaps she knows how parents in the Rock Hill school district feel about the ridiculous decisions made by the school board. For her to make reference to extended driving times required by students and alumni to attend a few away games is, in itself, ridiculous. What about extended driving times required by students and parents on a daily basis due to random and arbitrary attendance boundaries? I imagine that her argument will fall on deaf ears with the High School League just as that argument has repeatedly fallen on the deaf ears of the school board when it is made to them. How does having no choice feel, Mrs. Rentschler?

In regard to the 1 cent sales tax, I guess the school board does not appreciate having no choice in how it generates education funds. I would suspect that if the state Department of Education and the school district would find better ways to effectively spend those education tax dollars, we would start seeing improvement in academic achievement and graduation rates. I would venture to say that spending tens of thousands of dollars for teachers and principals to attend WOW conferences held at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville and in Canada is not a good use of the public's tax dollars. As it stands now, the residents of South Carolina are certainly not getting much bang for their tax buck where public education is concerned. In addition, I am pretty certain that the Rock Hill school district having no choice in the school start date resulting in the loss of two weeks prior to the administration of PACT is not going to have a significant impact on our flat and pitiful PACT scores.

Last, but of course not least, I would challenge Mrs. Rentschler to please tell me what the school district is doing to improve historically low academic achievement by students from low-income families. Exactly how is the school district or, for that matter, the state accountable to these families that the public education system continues to fail? There are private schools and alternative educational opportunities that are certainly less than $7,000 in this state, and there would be more opportunities generated for these families and others if the dollars followed the child. Her position on dollars following children is generated out the desire for control, power and protection of the like. At least a voucher program would be trying something new and different, and would give families lacking in means choice where the unaccountable school is failing to meet their child's need. But, doing something different and effective is not what government typically does, is it?

It's kind of funny how the educational establishment wants choice, but not for the constituents it is supposed to serve.

Hollie Bennett

Rock Hill

Story on Jena was inaccurate

Your recent front-page story was about the "Jena 6" contained many false statements contradicted by your own article on page 4-A. The front-page story presented a very racist view of what had happened in Jena.

The false and very incendiary reporting you presented on the front page was not very becoming of any news organization, let alone one in a community where racial tensions can run high with provocation.

However, I do appreciate your coming clean on page 4-A with the truth, but why the blatant lies on page 1? Are you playing the black community for fools? If the lies you told on page 1 had been true, any African-American and, for that matter, any decent human being should be incensed to action.

Having only recently moved to the area, I am greatly appalled that the premier newspaper for the area has such an agenda that lying is an acceptable means of news reporting.

James Harris

Gaffney

County should use methane for power

After reading the article in Wednesday's Herald about the BMW plant in Greer getting over 60 percent of its electricity from a power plant fueled with methane gas from a near by landfill, it made me think.

Why doesn't the York County Council check into using methane from the York County landfill to produce electricity that could be sold to Duke Energy?

All landfills produce large amounts of methane gas, and it just escapes from the ground and into the atmosphere where it adds to the greenhouse gasses.

Power companies are required to buy any electricity produced, so there is a ready market. The electricity or the gas could be sold to businesses located near the landfill. It might not make a lot of money but it would help with the environment, use a resource that is available and set an example for others.

Les Stewart

Rock Hill

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