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Aug. 26, 2013: Lisa Horn distributed Popsicles to students in the Hiawatha Elementary School cafeteria, where temperatures were in the mid-80s. The Minneapolis school is without air conditioning and struggled through the first day of classes with lots of bottled water and donated ice.

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Letter of the Day (Sept. 1): School inequities

  • August 31, 2013 - 4:25 PM

The nearly 3,000 students from Eden Prairie High School are receiving MacBook Air laptops when they return to school (“What’s new this fall in west metro schools?,” Aug. 25).

But in Minneapolis, students are unable to learn and are wilting from the high heat due a lack of funds to buy air conditioning for their buildings (“Hot schools get five-day weekend,” Aug. 29).

Apple’s website prices a MacBook at $999 per student, plus all the necessary infrastructure, software, training, support and updated curriculum. On Home Depot’s website, $600 will purchase a window air conditioner for a 40-by-40-foot room that would support 40 students — just $15 per student. Eden Prairie’s money would go a long way toward air conditioning in Minneapolis.

Could we please have a discussion about how to equitably fund our schools? Maybe something as simple as taking all the money earmarked for education in the state and dividing it by the number of students?

Minnesota should never see funding disparities that create luxury schools for the few while the many lack the basics.

KURT WALTENBAUGH, Minneapolis

 

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