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Coronavirus emergency aid for K-12 schools coming soon

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has released the guidance and application information for the $3 billion in emergency education block grants governors can apply for. As Governor Walz and his administration think through how to spend this extra money, the Center urges our state’s officials to focus on using it in a way that empowers and equips all students to continue learning—regardless of where the student goes to school....

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How the density craze is ruining urban life

Today’s Star Tribune features an op-ed headlined, “The density craze is ruining urban life in Minneapolis.” It’s a reader’s response to my April 5 article entitled, “Density in a time of coronavirus.” Donald Wolesky, who wrote the piece, says he has lived in Uptown Minneapolis for over 30 years and has seen the “new urbanist” obsession with density play out. In this vivid, “on-the-ground” piece, he documents its lamentable results....

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Small Town Papers Face Cuts Due to Coronavirus Impact

Virtually every sector of the economy continues to suffer from the end of business as usual due to the coronavirus. Yet even before the pandemic hit, small town newspapers across the state already faced tough times from declining ad revenue and readership. Now with their advertisers further cutting back staff and spending in the statewide shutdown, local news outlets have also implemented drastic cost-saving measures in an effort to survive the financial threat from one of the biggest stories they've had to cover in years. A survey by MPR confirms dozens of weeklies and small dailies have reduced staff and services...

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Right now is the best time to loosen childcare regulation

Many states have been facing childcare shortage and the corona virus has made it worse. Some states have instituted programs to fund providers and keep them in business. And some other states have focused on loosening regulation to ensure providers stay in business during the pandemic. In Minnesota a lot of childcare providers are struggling financially, and some may not manage to stay open. This is why this is the best time for the state legislature to work on loosening childcare regulation. This will ensure that the state is better prepared to handle the surge in demand that will follow...

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Farmers are dumping produce due to low demand

It is very apparent the shutdown has had an enormous effect on the economy and will continue to wreak havoc the longer it goes. One of the groups that is facing enormous losses, especially from the uncertainty, is farmers. With closed restaurants, farmers are feeling the squeeze from low demand and are having to dump produce. In Wisconsin and Ohio, farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits. An Idaho farmer has dug huge ditches to bury 1 million pounds of onions. And in South Florida, a region that supplies much of the Eastern half of...

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Financial Fallout from Coronavirus Forces Cities to Cut Back Progressive Plans

At the national level the federal response to the coronavirus appears destined to make big government bigger. But the financial fallout at the local government level may serve as a check on frivolous spending on progressive programs, forcing cities to get back to providing truly essential  services, according to the Star Tribune. Leaders in Minneapolis and St. Paul are focusing on the basics of city governance — repairing streets, responding to 911 calls and supporting residents through the pandemic — while putting off their big projects and major policy changes. In Minneapolis, meetings to discuss the hotly debated Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment...

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