More colleges should be freezing tuition in the upcoming year for students across the country due to negative effects of the current global pandemic ("U freezes tuition to keep enrollment up," April 22). The virus is forcing many students to put a hold on their future plans, with the University of Minnesota predicting enrollment of the incoming freshman class and transfer students to each decrease by 20%.
As a high school senior, I have been facing this problem as I look toward attending college in the upcoming academic year. Like many others my age, I have been furloughed from my job as the severity of the pandemic has increased. Others also may have family members who face reduced hours, resulting in a decrease in income. In addition, individuals are unable to qualify for unemployment if currently enrolled in high school. This is difficult for many, as our jobs are needed to save up money in order to attend college.
If universities follow the action of freezing tuition, the decrease in enrollment may be less severe and allow schools to recover more rapidly from revenue losses. If schools decide not to pursue this, enrollment will likely drop and it will require significant budget cuts. Universities across the country should follow after others that are making the decision to freeze tuition, giving students more time to save as society returns to normal and the opportunity for them to continue to pursue their dreams.
Claire Hippen, Rogers
At-home adventures educate, too
As a veteran teacher of almost 30 years, I read with interest the Readers Write letter of the day on Monday ("Dear students: We miss you"). I can certainly feel empathy for any teacher who is not in the classroom now teaching and supporting their students, especially the younger kids who love school, miss their friends and want the routine that school brings them each day. But looking at the glass half full, what makes me happy is hearing that my third-graders are doing fun things with their families, building bird houses, learning how to cook and bake, doing art projects, observing nature in their yards, visiting state parks and, most important, structuring their day to fit them, their parents and their learning style. If you look at a child's full K-12 career as a student, this last trimester via distance learning will represent only 1/39 of their education.
Kudos to all the parents of young students who are motivating them during this difficult time and especially to the ones who realize that learning takes place everywhere, even outside the classroom.
Tom Intihar, Brooklyn Park
We need these stringent standards
I read an article in Sunday's paper titled, "EPA rule may strip state of powers." Having worked for over 30 years at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, I was saddened to read how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering lowering the bar on environmental reviews regarding water quality issues.
This is only one of many revisions proposed and passed by the Trump administration. Soot, mercury and lead standards and now lowering water quality standards around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are only a few of the changes being enacted by the Trump administration for the benefit of wealthy company owners so that they can make more money at the expense of the public.
I would like to remind the public that the standards that are currently in place took many years, if not decades, to pass. Years of study and research support every rule on the books. To the best of my knowledge the current rule changes aren't based on better data or better science, they are based on economics for industry.
It's cheaper for companies to allow more soot to be admitted into the air, it's cheaper for companies to allow more mercury to be released into the environment from their operations, it's cheaper for companies to lower the standards for lead emissions — which poison children — and cleanup, and it's cheaper to lower water quality standards for a Chilean company that will pollute our precious BWCA.
Maybe the Trump administration should change the name of the Environmental Protection Agency to what it is turning it into, the Polluter Protection Agency.
Dale Trippler, Blaine
HEALTH CARE WORKERS
Add context to DACA debate
The writer of "We need them more than ever" (Readers Write, April 24) needs to check out more research about who is "likely to save us now and into our future," and about how needed a "path to full citizenship" for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients really is.
In an April 7 op-ed for National Review, Steven Camarota, the director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, points out that the figures from the Center for American Progress claiming 29,000 DACA recipients work in critical health care jobs would only comprise 0.2% of our 14.8 million health care workers and that they could be replaced by 352,000 currently unemployed health care workers. Nearly one-third of these DACA workers in CAP's analysis, he says, are home health and personal care aides, 7% are dental assistants, and included in the analysis were animal caretakers, massage therapists, optometrists, veterinarians — not exactly people on the front lines in protecting us against the virus.
Camarota also points out that 87% of those arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2018 were convicted criminals or had pending charges; therefore, the probability for deportation of illegal workers not charged with crimes is a small one.
Linda Huhn, Minneapolis
Golf is allowed, but tennis isn't?
Tennis is a sport that requires only a racquet, a can of balls and a pair of shoes. It can be played by all ages, and it doesn't require any money to play at any of our schools and local parks. In terms of social distancing, you don't even need to talk to your opponent. Surely, it is safe to play tennis — it just happens to be free.
Golf, on the other hand, uses tons of pesticides and fertilizer and big quantities of water. It is played by mostly white men and women. It's not a game children can easily learn or afford to play. And it requires money, which apparently talks in this state.
But the Minneapolis park system has chosen to take down the nets at local tennis courts, yet allow golf courses to open ("Defiance leads to closures of parks," April 25). Driving by golf courses recently, I saw white men lounging on the tees and the greens — no children and few women. As for social distancing ... ?
The entire decision smacks of money interests and power. I guess the rest of us can bounce a ball against the house or walk.
Karen Storm, Minneapolis
STAYING AT HOME
Keep up the coloring pages!
Hi. I am a 12-year-old girl. I really love the coloring pages the Star Tribune put in the newspaper. Me and my brother split them up, and one person gets the big side and one gets the little. We love coloring them in and don't want them to end. So we had a few ideas. You could do cities in deeper detail, you could go inside famous buildings like the Walker or the State Capitol, or you could do different states.
If you have other ideas, you could do those. But I just don't want them to end! I hope you liked my ideas! Thank you!
Amelie, age 12, very bored!
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