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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 10, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Higher education

Family support the key to college

It is going to take a lot more than money to fix the education problems in this state and this country. The fact that only one third of eligible eighth- and ninth-grade students have signed up with Washington’s College Success Foundation shows that there is relatively little interest in pursuing an education beyond high school [“Opening the doors to higher education,” guest commentary, June 9].

By signing a contract with the state and maintaining minimal requirements (2.0 GPA and not getting a felony charge), low-income students would be guaranteed a four-year education after high school. Any family or student would be crazy to pass this up!

Our current education problem is not due to lack of money, or inadequate schools or teachers. The problem stems from individual families who do not show respect or concern for the education system. If parents can’t be bothered to mentor, support and monitor their child’s progress at school (which includes taking a pledge to get good grades and stay out of trouble with the law), there is little chance the child will be successful in achieving an education beyond high school.

— Cincy Schindler, Newcastle

DREAM act enables illegal immigration

Kate Riley’s “Harvesting a DREAM, ” [editorial column, June 5] which promotes subsidizing college education for illegal immigrants, clearly does not include a number of considerations.

First, it does not note that countries like Mexico do not provide books and transportation, let alone free K-12 education, and certainly not a subsidized college education. As a consequence of our doing so, a large percentage of the millions in Mexico are lured here by our largesse.

Next, it notes that 553 illegal immigrants have been subsidized into the University of Washington while not noting that increasing thousands of American students are denied admission, let alone getting state financing to do so.

Third, she says the illegal immigrant parents have “paid” taxes and “contributed” to Washington’s economy without noting the enormous educational, medical, welfare costs created by them, let alone the unsustainbility costs created by their population-growth impacts due to resource depletion, pollution and ecosystem degradation.

And finally, she says “the DREAM Act provides a path to legal residency for these students brought to the U.S. as children who have good moral character if they attend two years of college or enlist in the military.”

At the least, two years of subsidized community college, or technical school does not guarantee “good moral character.” But the DREAM Act does provide another to a long list of “lures” for hundreds of thousands of illegals to come to this country, and this guarantees that it will create problems that may be slightly alleviated in short term but never solved in the long term.

— Richard Pelto, Kenmore

Shift money from sports to academics

Apropos the “UW program gets pricier: one student’s cost up tenfold” [page one, June 6], I am prompted to pose several fundamental questions that, in view of the ongoing hype promoting the remodel of Husky Stadium, seem to be ignored.

Of the revenue produced by football, what percentage goes to academics in the form of scholarships, and if none, why not, and to what programs is such revenue directed?

In view of the apparent never-ending desire to indulge football, the inevitable and so far unanswered question is that of the UW’s purpose — namely, is the university in business to fund sports or academic achievement?

Were the stadium to be remodeled, what is the revenue increase projected to be, and of that, how much, if any, would be directed to mitigating tuition that onerous increase from $2,600 to $26,532 cited in the case of Gillian Ehrlich? The overwhelmingly high disparity between the tuition extant, at the time Ehrlich and her colleagues committed upon matriculation, and the forthcoming entrapment they now face is unconscionable.

Perhaps it’s time for the university hierarchy, and protection for the sacred cow, to share a greater portion of the funding burden by tightening their own belts instead of forcing such Draconian burdens on those least able to absorb increase.

— Skip Voorhees, Medina

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