I am very grateful to the Chronicle-Independent for giving me an opportunity each month to discuss education in our community and beyond. One of the topics I feel compelled to keep talking about is how our state funds K-12 education. As I've said on several other occasions in this space, it's an understatement to say that the way our state funds K-12 education is dysfunctional, complicated, disorganized, ineffective and contradictory, and that's on a good day. When I think about this system, imagery involving duct tape and baling wire comes to mind.
The city of Camden was in the spotlight Thursday when local elected leaders from around the region met at TenEleven Galleria. These regional leaders, along with Camden city officials, met to discuss important legislative issues at a Municipal Association of South Carolina's Regional Advocacy Meeting. The Municipal Association is a statewide organization that provides support to the state's cities and towns with their efforts to be hubs for job growth and economic development.
Let's be fair to Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Contrary to a widespread impression, the libertarian-minded Texas Republican did not say during a recent Republican debate that people without health insurance should be left to die. It is only his idea of "freedom" that might cause you to think so.
Call me a hypocrite, and you'll be pretty darned accurate if you're talking about big-time college athletics.
Troy Davis died Wednesday night.
In presidential politics, endorsements are a prize candidates seem to covet, but don't necessarily need. On the rare occasion, however, a presidential backer can give a candidate that extra boost required to finish off the competition or a killer blow that eventually stymies a campaign.
NEW YORK -- Are Republicans stupid?
Quite a few people were shocked to hear the audience burst into applause at Rick Perry's first Republican presidential debate after they heard that the Texas governor leads the nation in executions. That's why we have debates. They teach you things, not only about the candidates but also about their voters.
Declaring your independence is risky, but it's relatively simple. Figuring out how to function as an actual nation is more complex.
It's been a long road/Gettin' from there to here.
As it turns out, I will be an aunt by the end of the year -- not once, but twice.
If there are "moderate" Muslims, I still hear critics ask since the Sept. 11 attacks, why don't they condemn Islamic terrorism? In fact, most Muslims do condemn such barbaric acts but their critics aren't always listening.
The late comedian George Carlin made people laugh for decades, oftentimes with his own brand of off-color humor. You wouldn't ordinarily think of him writing a piece that would be appropriate for Christmas reflection, but I ran across this recently. Written shortly after his wife died, it's worth sharing:
COPD, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., having recently passed stroke. COPD is a lung disease usually caused by years of cigarette smoking, often 10 years or more. The latest information on tobacco use in S.C. shows that about 720,000 adults are smokers and each year more than 6,000 persons die from smoking. Almost 50 percent of S.C. adults are current or ex-smokers, thus are at risk for COPD. The good news is that smoking rates are much lower than in the 1960s ...
We're used to hearing bad news from the education front -- poor test scores, falling literacy, slipping standards. But the new academic year brings a welcome change: school-choice programs have expanded significantly in recent months. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal has already dubbed 2011 "The Year of School Choice."
Everyone who's sick of winter, raise your hands.
WASHINGTON -- In matters cultural, California has always been America's petri dish. Whatever happened in California usually infiltrated the rest of the country.
"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon
We often hear politicians and government officials say that running a government, at any level, is the same as running a business. There obviously is some truth in that. Governments have expenses for personnel, equipment and supplies. They receive funds from their clients (taxpayers) to pay for the services the citizens hopefully receive. Government officials have to budget that money and decide how and where to allocate it to be used.
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's new outreach initiative to help at-risk boys of color -- "My Brother's Keeper" -- is cause for cheer.
This weekend I'm going to a bachelorette party. Actually, it's a combined bachelor/bachelorette party where both the bride and groom-to-be and their closest friends will be in attendance. I'm looking forward to it, but there's always a little bit of anxiety before taking part in an event such as that. I'm sure that's partly due to the Hangover movies and partly due to my own experiences in the past with bachelorette parties.
This is a simple question, and the answer is not simple, but there is something that we can all do to help, and we can do it right now -- today.
Mama had great stories. My favorite was the only one I asked often for her to repeat. It has become something of an anthem in my life.
I have said before -- in fact, not that long ago -- that covering tragedies is no fun. This is especially true when the tragedy takes place where you live, or at least close by. When you can say that you either know the people involved, or are friends of their friends, it hits you even harder.
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