Letter: Education is our leading assetFew issues raise the hackles more than taxes, and when you add a vote to the mix things can really get heated.
By: John Kern, Red Wing, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Few issues raise the hackles more than taxes, and when you add a vote to the mix things can really get heated. Here are some points to consider beyond the heated discourse:
1. The fact that money is short for schools doesn’t automatically indicate that our schools aren’t “living within their means.”
Over a 10-year period that I was involved with our school system we saw discussion degenerate from seeking the highest possible quality of education to basic survival. During that time there wasn’t a job within our district or a paper clip that wasn’t evaluated for cost reduction.
Yes, teachers and other staff have gotten wage increases over the years, but their actual take-home pay hasn’t even kept up with inflation. Most of the increases have been eaten up by health care coverage.
2. Only a minority of us actually has children in our schools, but we all have a stake in quality, properly funded education. Besides the obvious value of having an educated workforce available for employers, we also know that successful students become productive adults, and need fewer welfare and law enforcement services.
Plenty of research supports the concept that the cheapest dollars we spend on our society in the long run are spent to support education. In other words, money saved now will likely cost much more in taxes eventually.
3. Take the time to understand the two ballot questions. The second question cannot pass unless the first one does. It stands to reason, then, that we should all decide how we will vote on question 1 first.
If you are unsure of how all this works, talk to one of the committee members who will be happy to explain it to you.
Please give serious consideration to supporting this referendum. I believe education is the single most important asset Red Wing has to offer.
John Kern previously served on the Red Wing School Board.