Raise teachers’ pay
Every day, teachers go about the important business of educating children. Many of them refer to teaching as a calling, but it’s also a profession — a demanding one. Here in South Carolina, teachers earn less than their colleagues in other Southeastern states.…
Teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky recently walked out of their classrooms in protest. Students and parents have joined the demonstrations. In Oklahoma, teachers are demanding pay raises, better textbooks and classroom supplies. Teachers in Kentucky are protesting a controversial pension reform bill that Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law last week. Teachers in that state are also seeking better classroom technology and other resources. The protests have caused school closings in both states.
Massive protests haven’t been planned in South Carolina, but that may be what it takes to get the attention of the governor and state’s lawmakers. School systems are among the largest employers in their communities. Their political power should not be underestimated.
Pay is often a measure of the value we place on employees. Educators have historically earned less than many professions. So this won’t be fixed overnight. But if there are any state employees who deserve a pay increase, it is teachers.
Everyone remembers their favorite teacher and the impact that person had on their lives. What kind of message does it send to our teachers and children if we aren’t willing to invest in bringing teacher salaries to a comparable level with educators in nearby states? Let’s support our teachers and make pay raises a top priority.
The referendum is advisory in nature and the legislation specifically states designating party affiliation “may not be used to restrict or limit a voter’s full discretion to participate in the primary election of his choosing,” but the GOP’s ultimate objective is broader. The party does not want crossover voting in which Democrats can impact outcomes. And it wants the many South Carolinians calling themselves independents but historically voting for Republicans to limit themselves to GOP primaries.…
South Carolina voters should treasure their independent status and the option of choosing a primary in which to vote should remain.
While South Carolina Democrats have not challenged the present system in the same way as the majority GOP, party regulars on both sides of the political fence always fear voters loyal to the opposition will seek to manipulate results by voting in the opponent’s primary. There are examples of that happening, but it is not a problem that justifies scratching the present system.
Most voters cast ballots in the affirmative.
And with turnout as poor as it is for primaries (20 percent in non-presidential years), nothing should be done to diminish interest and limit the ability of people to vote.
Speech v guns
H. 5218 and 5219 were filed Friday. They are aimed at criminalizing the sale of video games depicting gun violence and barring movie theaters from screening films with similar content.
(S.C. Rep. Mike) Pitts is a bit more serious with these measures than his push to register journalists or even secede from the Union.
“The hypocrisy of people that make gazillions off of depicting gun violence and then want to take my legally owned firearms away from me chafe my rear end, so this is to point it out,” he told the Index-Journal for a story published Tuesday.
Pitts, a former law enforcement officer, told the paper that media saturation of violent content has contributed to a moral collapse, that it has desensitized society and devalued human life.
Another case of First Amendment rights vs. Second Amendment rights? Decidedly so, and again an opportunity for Pitts to make a point: