An article published on Sept. 17 in the Star Tribune ("Online schools filled to the brim") described how the four largest school districts in the state have wait-listed children for distance learning. What this article, or any subsequent article, neglects to describe is the struggle parents and kids are going through to get an education in Minnesota today.
My 7-year-old grandniece is immunocompromised and as a result is planning to distance learn until she's fully vaccinated. She is enrolled in Minneapolis Public Schools. It wasn't until the week before school started that my niece was informed the school wasn't facilitating distance learning, the district was, and by the time my grandniece got enrolled in distance learning, the limits were reached, and she was wait-listed. We're six weeks into the school year and she has not begun her second-grade education.
My niece and grandniece live in north Minneapolis. Due to the increased gun violence it's not safe to go to the community park two blocks from their house. Like many kids in North Minneapolis, my grandniece is already at risk for adverse outcomes. Distance learning may not be a gold standard, but until immunocompromised children are eligible for vaccine it's the best educational option that's available — only it's not available to all.
I think we can do better than this.
Laura L. Eiklenborg, St. Louis Park
MINNEAPOLIS FIRST WARD
New direction needed for us
Last spring the First Ward DFL nominating process for City Council in northeast Minneapolis was likely the most inclusive process ever. Almost 4 out of 5 people (78%) voted to endorse an impressive new candidate, Elliott Payne. The incumbent council member, a DFLer, indicated that he would respect the DFL endorsement. But Kevin Reich is running again despite an overwhelming endorsement by Democrats for Mr. Payne.
I usually consider the Star Tribune endorsements in my voting decisions. However, this year the Star Tribune Editorial Board is obviously fearful of the City Council, the prospect of reimagining public safety (City Question 2) and empowering rent stabilization policies (Question 3). Its endorsements are circling the wagons around our broken police department, a beleaguered mayor and ambiguous talk of police reform. For example, it endorsed Reich, who has largely ducked the public debate about what should change so that we no longer witness the Derek Chauvin and Mohammed Noor brand of policing in our great city ("Kevin Reich deserves another term," editorial, Oct. 11).
I'm going with the wisdom of the crowd; I choose to trust the more than 300 neighbors in the First Ward DFL Party who have endorsed Elliott Payne as a new leader for northeast Minneapolis. If elected, he will use a data-driven, community-engaged approach to make our city safe and affordable as well as a place of dignity for everybody.
Michael Darger, Minneapolis
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