Letters to the Editor

A vote for gubernatorial candidate James Smith is a vote for the environment

Rep. James Smith, left, and Marguerite Willis speak before the debate for Democratic candidate for governor hosted by Progress SC at the Columbia Convention Center.the debate for Democratic candidate for governor hosted by Progress SC at the Columbia Convention Center.
Rep. James Smith, left, and Marguerite Willis speak before the debate for Democratic candidate for governor hosted by Progress SC at the Columbia Convention Center.the debate for Democratic candidate for governor hosted by Progress SC at the Columbia Convention Center. The State file photo

The Sierra Club endorsed Henry McMaster when he ran for attorney general, but no longer. The Sierra Club and the Conservation Club have endorsed Democrat James Smith. John Tynan, director of the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, explained:

“What really sets James Smith head and shoulders apart — and in front of McMaster — is that he’s been a consistent leader and voice on conservation issues for over 20 years at the State House.”

McMaster has gone from Sierra Club support to supporting the rollback of environmental safety regulations. James Smith, though, was the primary sponsor of the bipartisan bill that would lift the restrictive cap on solar power. He also co-sponsored a bipartisan bill that would require megafarms withdrawing 3 million gallons or more a month to get permits, just as industries do.

The environment is too important to be entrusted to McMaster’s politics. Vote for James Smith, a consistent environmentalist.

Dipti Paudel

Myrtle Beach

Students in poverty need services to succeed

The latest version of our state’s school report cards will be released in the near future. This release will undoubtedly be accompanied by the usual finger-pointing and teacher shaming. There will also undoubtedly be calls to provide public funds for private schools that wouldn’t be subject to any formal accountability.

The report card structure is rigged. The passing scores for the bubble tests that drive it are 20 percent higher than most of the country. Further, the report card grades are based on a kind of bell curve that guarantees that a certain number of schools will be deemed as “failing.”

The individual school grades will clearly reflect a strong correlation with the poverty level of a school. It’s not that economically disadvantaged students can’t achieve. However, these students need more resources and services than might be needed by their more affluent peers. The research is pretty clear on this. The political and educational leadership of our state should be focusing on funding the services needed for all students to achieve, regardless of socioeconomic level.

The services I am talking about are “wraparound” services. These services include extended day and extended school year tutoring, access to health care, and access to mental and behavioral health services. Until the political and educational leadership of our state realizes that students living in poverty have greater needs than their more affluent peers, no progress will occur.

More grades and shaming won’t fix the real problems.

Frank Morgan

Camden

Trump, Kavanaugh have turn this Republican blue

My wife is a staunch Democrat, and I have always prided myself as an independent thinker. I was a staunch supporter of George W. Bush in 2000, and I was rooting for Jeb Bush presidency. Living in South Carolina, we are considered backwards and illiterate, but I have to tell my friends that there is hope for this state.

Since this president has taken over, I have been more disappointed with our political system.

I have never campaigned for a candidate, but since this man took over and this Supreme Court nominee, it has made me get up, out of the house and campaign for dDemocrats in my state.

What has happened has soured me on Republicans as total incompetent and ignorant of how the public feels.

I am ashamed now of my past affiliation with the Republican Party.

I know there are lots of folks in this state that are red throughout, but this one person has been converted to staunch blue.

Edmond Melkomian

Columbia

The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.

  Comments