Opinion Extra

Opinion Extra

Voters got it right on state superintendency issue on Nov. 6; Legislature didn’t

On Nov. 6, South Carolina voters were correct in saying they wanted to be able to continue voting for the constitutional officer who oversees the largest portion of South Carolina’s state budget and the education of 700,000 of our citizens. The fact that a question that has few defensible arguments for bringing about real improvements to our beleaguered public education system –or improving the level of accountability for doing so – was chosen should tell South Carolina voters a great deal about how seriously our state Legislature desires the public’s input on issues that truly matter to our state and its future.

Opinion Extra

Results of Tri-County scandal ‘a testament to the power of an informed community’

Tri-County Electric Cooperative members spent the past six months working collaboratively to oust the entire Tri-County board for abuses surrounding board compensation and other possible wrongdoing. Co-op members across Tri-County’s six-county service area collected more than 1,600 signatures on petitions, held community meetings, attended Tri-County board meetings — ones properly announced and those unannounced — to amass enough member support for a special member called meeting. As a result, the entire board was ousted in August by a vote of more than 1,400 to 30. Tri-County co-op members followed their member-approved bylaws throughout the entire process, and on Nov. 17, they elected nine new members to the Tri-County Electric Cooperative board. Working with co-op members in their grassroots effort was for me a testament to the power of an informed community.

Opinion Extra

A cloud hangs over SCE&G rate rollback decision

After 15 long days, the S.C. Public Service Commission (PSC) wrapped up its hearing on the SCE&G nuclear debacle. In the next few weeks, it will rule on how much SCE&G electric customers will have to pay for the $5 billion the utility spent on the now abandoned nuclear energy project in Fairfield County.

Opinion Extra

Finally, Columbia has a lifelong learning program for seniors

When I was co-authoring “Next Steps,” a nationally syndicated newspaper column about aging and retirement, we told our readers that cognitive decline begins in our 60s and becomes more prevalent in our 70s and 80s. The best way to prevent that downward slope as birthdays pile up? Regular exercise, social interaction with friends and family, and intellectual stimulation.

North Carolina and South Carolina schools get a C-

Education Week, a nonprofit education industry newspaper that publishes these grades annually, recently have North Carolina and South Carolina a grade of C-.