Letter: Improve our schools, boost our economyOur kids and community need our collective help. Without “yes” votes on both questions on the school referendum, our school district will be in dire straits.
By: Evan Brown, Red Wing, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Our kids and community need our collective help. Without “yes” votes on both questions on the school referendum, our school district will be in dire straits.
If the referendum fails, at least $2.1 million will have to be cut from the existing budget. For a school budget that has already cut $8 million since 2001, further cuts will seriously impact the quality of education, forcing teacher layoffs and reducing school offerings even farther.
Education is the single most important predictor of future earnings. Preparing our children for the future requires providing them with a complete high school education, at the least. Our school district is in critical condition, and without our support, it will be unable to provide educational opportunities that lead to improved outcomes.
We all are affected by rising prices of food and fuel, and have difficult choices to make about where to spend resources. If the referendum fails, it will truly stress our school district, making Red Wing less attractive to prospective businesses and families. Improving our schools and student achievement will boost the economic condition of our city, increasing opportunity and enhancing the fiscal health of local government.
Both business and families looking to move consider school quality among the top issues in deciding where to relocate. Studies have shown that, when controlled for all other factors, an increase of 5 percent in standardized test scores increases home values by 2 to 3 percent.
A 2000 study in Fresno, Calif., showed that school quality was the single most important determinant of neighborhood prices. Businesses offering high wage jobs consider educational quality in comparing possible locations. Improving educational achievement will have tangible, real time benefits on our economy, which will increase our ability to attract high wage jobs and new families, improving the tax base.
Thriving communities are built on strong school districts. Better educational outcomes for children improve economic activity, lower crime and increase home values. Please support the school referendum Sept. 9 by voting YES on both ballot questions. Do it for our children, and our community.