Letters to the Editor

Counselors, educators must reach out to low-income students

Regarding the May 23 news article “5 ways to boost bright low-income students”: School counselors are well positioned to play an important role in helping all qualified students receive the necessary educational instruction for access to higher education opportunities. To discover students who may be overlooked requires proactive behaviors. Large student-to-counselor ratios force counselors to devote much of their time to reactive behaviors, leaving little time left for actively discovering inequities in student course placements.

Smaller student-to-counselor ratios would help considerably. Education leaders also play an important role. If school principals believe equity in course choice is important, then their counselors are more likely to be encouraged or directed to identify students who are being overlooked.

Although important, boosting bright, low-income students is a part of a broader educational challenge. High school diplomas are now less valuable, and counselors are challenged to encourage all students to engage in some form of post-secondary education. Doing that calls for all educators to be engaged in creating such a college-bound culture in their schools.

Stanley B. Baker, professor of counselor education

North Carolina State University

Don’t ‘manage’ Medicaid

In the May 14 news article “Have your say as state moves Medicaid to private managed care”: North Carolina requested comments regarding plans to reform Medicaid, specifically to “manage” it with privatization. This has already been done with the developmentally disabled and mentally ill in N.C., and it has been a disaster. I have direct experience as both a consumer and a service provider in the current system.

I waited years to obtain Medicaid services for my disabled child. As a medical provider for mentally ill patients, I know patients who have waited two weeks or more in emergency rooms while waiting to get into psychiatric hospitals.

Those who have waited weeks in the ER, months for group home placements and clinic appointments, or years to obtain services for their developmentally disabled child can attest to the fact that private managed care has not made any improvements. So far it seems to have created only waste in administrative costs and no attempt to improve quality, access or availability of services.

If the state chooses to manage all of Medicaid through privatization, it would be choosing the betterment of corporations over its most vulnerable citizens.

Neva Bartholomew

Chapel Hill

Arms deal questioned

Regarding the May 21 article “Trump says arms deal is a job producer”: It is hard to see how pumping an additional $110 billion worth of combat ships, helicopters and tanks into Saudi Arabia will promote peace.

Jobs created at what cost to humanity?

Larry Tombaugh