Although the revised tuition plan approved by the University of Minnesota regents reduces the rate increase for resident undergraduate tuition from 2.5% to 2%, it retains the higher rate of 3% for many students in graduate school and in the professional schools (“U regents soften Kaler’s tuition hike,” June 20). This inflicts an even more punishing blow on those students as their base tuition is much higher (for example, $43,000 per year for Minnesota-resident law school students).
National student loan debt is at a staggering $1.5 trillion and rising. This debt is incurred after students (and their parents) have already exhausted their savings and student earnings. The increases in tuition approved by the regents will tighten the shackles of debt being placed on our children.
The reliance on student loan debt to finance much of higher education must end. Tuition should be collected from revenues that students earn after graduation. The amount of tuition should be a percentage of the earnings of each student for a certain time period, such as five years.
Our current system of financing higher education places all of the risk on students, their parents and the public (by way of state appropriations). Income-based tuition would fairly allocate some of that risk to the system of higher education.
Michael W. McNabb, Lakeville
Use tech to tailor universal aid
I have perhaps a better idea than reparations (“Exploring reparations, House digs into dark past,” front page, June 20) to the ancestors of slaves, which would, in my opinion, further divide us: Use 21st-century technology to guarantee every American child has superb health care and primary and secondary education. Use the tools we already have to determine factors effecting learning capabilities, such as abuse, lead in drinking water, or a lack of technology in the classroom. Make American health care and education the best in the world, bar none!
An old advertisement promoting minority college education claimed, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” It’s worse than that. Young minds are being wasted all over the country, in urban and rural settings, and our nation suffers greatly as a result. With all the remedies that are currently available, why not make the investment and give everyone the specific help they need?
Frederic J. Anderson, Minneapolis
Deaths are coming without change
Thank you for the strong editorial highlighting that the need for tighter state vaccination laws (“Measles alert should prompt tighter laws,” June 20). As noted, Minnesota had a serious measles outbreak in 2017, and yet we remain one of 15 states that allow parents to cite “personal beliefs” for opting children out of school-age immunizations.
Measles is a highly contagious disease. It has re-emerged as a public health threat, and failure to immunize your child could put the health of other children at risk. That is the textbook definition of a public need that should be addressed by our lawmakers.
In 2017 we were fortunate that there were no measles deaths. We should not tempt fate going forward.
Minnesota needs stronger vaccination laws. Please talk to your neighbors and your legislators. Together we can do more to protect our kids’ health.
Matt Flory, St. Louis Park
Mistakes are fine, but racism is not
I could not agree more with David Brooks (“Is Harvard impervious to redemption?” Opinion Exchange, June 19) about the world’s lost art of redemption. Especially with children. (Brooks wrote about Harvard’s rescinding admission to a Parkland shooting survivor who had made racist comments on a Google doc.) When my kids were growing up, I used to beg them to do something stupid, as it was appropriate to do so at that young age. I had a list of examples from my past if they needed any ideas.
But none of the ideas I had involved racist, anti-Semitic, repulsive, callous or inflammatory language directed at other people. This is not “childish,” and it never should be thought of that way. This type of language is dangerous, and I respect Harvard for acknowledging that.
Liz Knutson, Minneapolis
Speed isn’t the issue — variation is
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s not so much speed as variations in speed that causes accidents (“Watch your speed; the cops are,” June 20). If everyone drove 75 mph on the freeway, it would be safer than current conditions that mix slow drivers, faster drivers and large trucks in a free-for-all.
Speeds on the Autobahn in Germany can be very high, but lane usage is highly regulated. Large trucks are restricted to the right lane, passing on the right is not permitted, and if a vehicle is holding up traffic the driver is fined — regardless of his speed. We would be better off adopting these rules in Minnesota rather than a dragnet like this that targets only speeders and is likely to punish random drivers and generate some revenue for the government but do nothing to improve overall safety. If there are “too many” speeders, maybe it’s time to ask why.
Glenn P. Bruder, Edina
Cultivating crops is not a crime
In 1906, the founding farmers of Minnesota passed this amendment to the Constitution: “Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor.”
But Luis Hummel, of 5th Sun Gardens, is facing prison time for cultivating hemp that exceeded his license requirement of 0.3% THC and had his license revoked (“Hemp farmer faces charges over products’ THC content,” June 19).
Why does Hummel need a license if it’s forbidden by the Constitution of Minnesota? Why is cannabis hemp illegal without a license? Cannabis hemp wasn’t illegal in 1906 and it was cultivated throughout the state. It became illegal because lawmakers passed the prohibitive licensing laws.
If our lawmakers won’t restore our rights, then they’re not fit to reform our laws.
Chris Wright, Minneapolis
A complex, teachable moment
The Star Tribune article about the name change of Monroe High School (“St. Paul’s Monroe name is stripped,” June 19) addresses both positives and negatives of the decision. Indeed, feelings run deep concerning honoring our national heroes — President James Monroe in this case — and the sense of connectedness that former community members have cherished for so many years. Hence, the pain and sense of loss many feel.
The evils of slavery are deep and lasting. As has been said: Slavery is our national original sin. Over the past recent decades we have been witnessing a more thorough examination of our national founding and the injustices caused by slavery embedded in our Constitution and then supported by federal and state laws. This has raised our collective consciousness and underlies the review of historical decisions about how we honor our heroes.
I can imagine children asking their parents and teachers why the school’s name was changed. What a wonderful teachable moment this provides adults to help our young people explore and understand the complexities of government, law, morality, social norms and human behavior.
Ben Kohler, Roseville
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