Readers Write: (Jan. 18): Bonding proposals, newborn screening, mining, smoking the 'pay chasm,' personal interactions

  • Updated: January 17, 2014 - 7:14 PM

Gov. Dayton has led on early learning, but it needs brick-and-mortar support, too.


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Early learning needs bricks and mortar, too

Gov. Mark Dayton has been a national leader on making smart investments into quality early care and education services for poor children. Most significant is his support and priority for Minnesota’s Parent Aware quality rating system and tying public funds to that quality through Early Learning Scholarships, licensed child care rate differential and continued support of known quality programs like Head Start.

However, I was disappointed to see that on the governor’s recent list of bonding projects (“Dayton’s $1B wish list,” Jan. 16), early childhood facilities were not included. As with higher education ($232 million proposed) and prisons ($220 million proposed), bricks and mortar are a part of providing services to young children and ensuring that they have access to a strong start on their educational journey.

Surely, if our state can invest $452 million in higher education and prison facilities, we also can invest upfront in spaces for early learners to help ensure that college and not prison is where more of them end up.



The writer was the founding director of the Minnesota Office of Early Learning.



Sample from one child may have aided another

I hope someone asks my permission before my children’s newborn screening results or the little card with my child’s spots of blood are destroyed (“In battle over newborns’ blood samples, state relents,” Jan. 14). I hope some child’s life has been saved because someone used my children’s blood to develop a new test or improve testing for a specific disease.

Abnormal newborn screens are not rare. I have seen quite a few during the years I have been a practicing physician. I have seen smiling, happy and thriving children who otherwise would not be alive or would have severe handicaps if these tests had not been developed. I hope my children’s blood somehow helped them.

I hope parents know they can “opt in” to having their child’s blood saved, and I hope it can be saved for more than the very short time recommended (71 days for a normal result and two years for an abnormal result).




West Virginia should be a cautionary tale

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