August 15, 2012 10:28:48 AM
Paul Ryan, food stamps, and a school plan
Tuesday's paper had a column by Margaret Carlson regarding Gov. Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate. I think those hippie-style glasses aren't the only thing still she uses from the 60s. That's not right or fair, but neither is her column.
She is entitled to her views, but not misrepresented "facts." If she or anybody else cared to check, the misquote of Speaker Newt Gingrich wanting Medicare to "wither and die on the vine" gives a totally false idea of what he actually said. I don't remember the whole quote entirely, but he wanted to allow people to choose between a complete Medicare program, one with both Medicare and a private insurer, or just a private insurer.
Now, on a couple of more topics. The big thing now is for schools to feed healthier lunches to the children to help fight obesity at an early age. Offices should have vendors provide healthier snacks in break rooms. Good. Now let's take it a step further, if our public servants in Jackson are really serious.
As it is now, food stamps cannot be used to buy bleach, cigarettes, and other non-food items. Go to any grocery store or especially convenience store and you'll see children buying "junk food" with food stamp cards. Of course, convenience store prices are higher than grocery store prices, but that little plastic card doesn't know or care. I've seen kids use those cards to buy chips, sodas, ice cream, candy, and other unhealthy foods.
If the food stamp program was restricted to healthy foods only, it would serve two purposes: One, it would help to reduce the rate of obesity in our youth; and two it would possible reduce the dollars wasted.
Now back to the education/merit pay discussion. I've floated this idea before and it has garnered some attention in Jackson. Some things move slowly, but if more people got behind it and supported it, then it might pick up steam and our students would benefit.
Erase all school district lines. Allow parents to send their children to the school they feel will give them the best education. Schools could then let students from "other school districts" attend their school, if there was room. Students that couldn't keep up could be transferred to another school. Teachers would be compensated on their ability to teach, regardless of how many years they were in a classroom.
There are many little details to be worked out in my plan, and it would take probably at least 10 years to see the results. The sooner we get started, the sooner our children will profit, and this is really what it should be all about, providing for the children and helping them to get as good a start in life as possible.