The state had a $2 billion surplus to work with, and the Legislature could not allot $30,000 to allow parents of children with disabilities to enroll in pre-K programs in charter schools (“Deaf kids losing a pre-K lifeline,” July 13)? This is a particularly egregious restriction for deaf children who need American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate. As the article states: “Research shows those early years are a critical period for language acquisition.” Normal-hearing children are not asked to wait five years to learn language. Do legislators really think that parents of special-needs children would rather have a few hundred dollars (if that) from tax cuts than a decent early special education for their children?
Cynthia Wetzell, Minneapolis
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Since all research shows that deaf children need to be educated from the time of diagnosis, it seems obvious that this program will be restored. Yet we must see that this is in place at the beginning of the school year; it cannot wait for the Legislature in March. What else can be done?
Mary N. Hile, Minneapolis
No reason to wait — it is a sensible step for school, society
I applaud the University of Minnesota’s new policy requiring affirmative consent from sex partners. The statistics are sobering. According to the nonprofit One in Four, 300,000 U.S. college women — more than 5 percent of women enrolled in colleges and universities — experience rape in one year. This does not include other forms of sexual assault. Only 11 percent of college women who experience rape report it to the police. This rate has remained the same since I attended college in the 1980s.
During that same time, we overhauled societal views about smoking cigarettes as well as drinking and driving. Now is the time to overhaul messages about sexual violence. The U’s Aurora Center uses the message “Got Consent?” as it works to prevent sexual violence on campus. It educates students about the need to communicate how they’re feeling throughout sexual activity by asking “May I …? Are you OK with …? Would you like to …?”
As my daughter heads to college next month, I desperately hope she and her classmates are not among the one in four. The university’s policy currently is postponed until September. I encourage university President Eric Kaler and the Board of Regents to take a stand on the right side of history by implementing it immediately.
Andrea Kaufman, Minneapolis
What if he’s tapping into legitimate frustrations?
Instead of dismissing supporters of Donald Trump and views that are not easily spoken in public as bigotry (Readers Write, July 14), supporters of “equanimity” should at least consider the frustrations of those who hold such beliefs.
Views not supporting entitlement are not discussed or reported on because anyone questioning the success of civil-rights legislation — such as Head Start, fair housing, affirmative action, diversity in schools/housing/admissions/employment and other programs — is shouted down as being a bigot. Police don’t report the race of suspected perpetrators. Fifty years of failed entitlement programs have produced a culture that feels discriminated against in all things.
They may be right. However, government continues to tout unsuccessful programs. Why? Because, even though they don’t work, it’s easier to play the political race card than expecting equality in all things. That is not Donald Trump’s failure.
James M. Becker, Lakeville
Be politically correct if you’d like, but we know the score
Kansas City Star columnist Mary Sanchez (“ ‘Sanctuary cities: Conservative backlash will harm policing,” July 14) would have the “ill-informed” believe that, were it not for the sanctuary-city phenomenon, thousands of illegal immigrants wouldn’t “feel safe cooperating with the police” and, thus, would refrain from reporting their fellow illegals when they violate a city’s laws.
Sanchez labels as demagogues those who beg to differ with her politically correct rationale. Her fantasy ranks right up with there with “if you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.”
Thus, there should be no surprise about the wave of support for Donald Trump (not that he will ever be our president), because those of us who are “informed” know, and fear, that our country’s sovereign fiber is rapidly disintegrating as a consequence of immigration-related “executive orders” that, primarily, undermine our republic’s sovereignty.
God bless America!
Gene Delaune, New Brighton
St. Paul, it’s your time to shine
As a lifelong soccer admirer, player and former decadelong volunteer youth coach for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, I have personally seen the rise and growth of the sport in our greater metro community. I therefore hope that St. Paul gets the go-ahead for a new, $120 million soccer-only stadium (“St. Paul kicks off soccer push,” July 10). Unlike baseball and football, soccer is a world sport, even one that this country now proudly represents as women’s world champions.
The bus lot site at Snelling and University avenues is the obvious, preferred location, because there is ample opportunity to travel there by any means, because the neighborhood would get a lift, and because even if Minneapolis is “suffering” from stadium fatigue, maybe we can learn from that city’s failures and limit the corporate handouts to millionaires and instead make this a municipal (think metro) place for a sport but also for cultural events — for instance, music, festivals and community events that all can enjoy, whether they care for sports or not.
My hope is that we can bring sports back to the communities where they are rooted, where the presence of a stadium can bring in jobs and life in the streets, instead of building these isolated mega-arenas that only benefit sports channels and where prohibitive ticket prices keep families away.
St. Paul, you’ve led the way with the Saints; now, bring in Minnesota United!
Niels Billund, St. Paul
VOTER REGISTRATION PROPOSALS
Apartment owners can handle it
I was amazed to read what a terrible burden it would be to ask a landlord to provide a voter registration form to a new tenant (“Minneapolis proposal for apartments is over the top,” July 14). With the rental prices charged in Minneapolis today, I would think that it would be a very nice courtesy to assist a new tenant in adjusting to his or her new home.
Ellen Wolfson, Minneapolis