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Ducey, a case for funding

state universities

In 1982 Doug Ducey moved from Toledo, Ohio to Tempe to attend Arizona State University, because his high school counselor told him Arizona’s “colleges were affordable.” Thirty-two years later, he was elected governor of Arizona and cut the state university system’s budget by $100 million, the largest cut to universities in the state’s history.

As an out-of-state student his tuition in 1982 was $3,250. Today, adjusting for inflation, that $3,250 is equivalent to $7,952. Yet at its May 4 meeting, the Arizona Board of Regents is being asked to approve out-of-state tuition of $24,784 for the 2015-16 ASU school year – more than three times the inflation-adjusted rate.

In other words, Gov. Ducey enjoyed extremely low tuition at ASU because the state chose to invest in higher education. The irony is remarkable. Arizona taxpayers invested in young Ducey’s education, which led him to the governorship and to strip that investment from the next generation.

During his campaign, Governor Ducey touted his business success as proof he could improve the state’s economy. But if he were truly interested in creating jobs and expanding Arizona’s economy, he would invest in Arizona’s public university system. He is, after all, living proof of its success.

Laura Penny

Nonprofit administrator

Stories like Blackmon’s can make a difference

Re: the April 27 article “She possess a brilliant mind with an equally brilliant outlook.”

The article about Lena Blackmon on the front page was excellent, not only for its content but because you thought it worth being on the front page. Her positive attitude was amazing as well as her modesty. I’m sure she will make some wonderful contributions wherever she chooses to live.

However, when I came to the part in the article in which she said, “I remembered everyone in Trinidad was happy and nice. Amercan kids were mean. It was hard.” What a sad comment to make, how stressful that must have been.

What excuse have we for this outrageous behavior on the part of our children? And, as usual, who’s to blame?

The answer, unfortunately, are the poor parents who will be expected to contend with this and other problems of parenthood, as well as the schools. However, I tend to lay it mostly with the parents. The schools have been hand-tied with legislation and lax efforts in dealing with unacceptable behavior.

It’s time to address schools to join in with parents to make an effort to get this under control.

In the meantime, I commend the Star for making this a headline story. These are at a level where they can make a difference in a community and I hope you continue to print them.

Anne DeWitt

All athletes should have been mentioned

Re: the April 28 column “Local chapter scores big when it comes to ‘life after football.’ ”

Thanks to Greg Hansen for his article on the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete awards dinner that was recently held at the Doubletree Hotel. My wife and I were in attendance to honor our grandson, who was one of the 10 outstanding high school football players recognized.

Greg mentioned only five of the honorees in his article. If he mentions one (or five), he should mention all of these fine young men. We are very proud of our grandson, Matt Solverson, who lettered in three sports, is graduating with a 4.2 GPA, is a founding member of TASK (Tucson Athletes Serving Kids), and will be attending the University of Arizona to pursue an engineering degree.

Roger Smith

Northeast side

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