• Thursday, March 20, 2014

Response to Councilman Bob Anderson

In two recent Op-eds, Bob Anderson opposed public PreK programs because he didn’t want to pay for other people’s “childcare.” The idea that preK programs provide childcare is outdated. Such programs are now well recognized as providing education. PreK for all our children is critical to ensuring that both the children, and the economy, of Georgetown County reach their full potential.

Spending money on public PreK now significantly reduces future costs. Every dollar invested in quality PreK programs is estimated to save taxpayers from $2.50 up to $17 by reducing the future expenses for remedial education, public assistance and prisons.

The National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University has found that early childhood education is effective in reducing the high school dropout rate. Business leaders, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, support quality preK for all children because it increases student success in school. Successful students graduate from high school and some of them from college. Successful students help attract quality employers to our county; quality employers expand the tax base and an expanding tax base results in even better schools.

As Mr. Anderson suggests, private PreK programs, like Pawleys Island Child Development Center, are helpful, but such programs can’t provide PreK to all children. The Center serves 25 children, while our county has over 3,000 kids under the age of five.

We have a choice: To invest in early education and create a bright future for our young people and our local economy. Or fail to invest and face a future of decreasing opportunity for our young and increasing taxes needed to pay for programs for remedial education, public assistance, and prisons.

By providing quality PreK programs to all our children, we can benefit not just the children, but ultimately every taxpayer in our county.

Carolyn Ellis

Early Learning Council of

Georgetown County

Proposed seawall at DeBordieu

For centuries the earth`s tides have both eroded and re-built our nations beaches and nature has done an excellent job of maintaining this balance between erosion and deposition. Currently one has only to visit Litchfield Beach to see that fences, built in the hope of protecting erosion of the dunes, have failed in that objective, and in fact appear to have added to the excavation behind the fences.

In Columbia, Senate Bill 390 will shortly come up for a vote. If passed, residents of DeBordieu will be permitted to erect a new steel seawall on public beach, a seawall that seems destined to fail in it`s supposed mission This beach is held in trust for the people of our state, and we should not allow the wishes of a few to intrude on the trust and rights of our public. This calls on our state senators, including Senator Cleary, to vote against S390.

Ian McLaren

Litchfield

The Great American Meatout

After several months of crippling snowstorms and flooding, I really look forward to spring weather, green grass, and flowers in bloom.

The advent of spring is also a great opportunity to turn over a new leaf on our dietary and exercise habits. In fact, I’ve been told that hundreds of communities celebrate the advent of spring with something called the Great American Meatout.

Local health advocates host educational events, where they ask visitors to get a fresh start this spring with a healthy diet of vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, and whole grains. For those who need a little encouragement, their website provides useful information and a chance to pledge a healthy diet for one day or more.

Gabriel Turnstall

Georgetown

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