Strong Schools Drive Economic Activity – By Charlene Voyce
Every year, the education budget referendum is a lightning rod for all that divides members of our community. There are better ways, however, to handle our differences on other issues, most pointedly through our elections, public participation on town boards and commissions, and attendance at town meetings. We don’t have to load all of our differences and disagreements on the vote to support quality schools for our children.
Like your readers, I am concerned about taxes, but I am also concerned about educating our children, growing Clinton’s economy, increasing real estate values, and improving the overall quality of life in our small town. Research has shown that there is no better taxpayer investment than education: strong schools drive economic activity more than tax cuts do. Investing in education produces higher student achievement, higher graduation rates, and an educated workforce. Higher graduation rates bring down crime and make communities safer. Public assistance costs drop as graduation rates increase, and skilled workers attract and retain businesses.
Building a quality school system requires quality teachers, lower class sizes, adequate school supplies, and a well-rounded curriculum that includes the arts, music, and sports. There are no shortcuts. We must put aside partisanship and ideological differences and unite around a common commitment to improving our schools and our community.
I encourage your readers to join me in voting to support the Clinton Public Schools’ budget on May 11. We will all benefit.
Article Published May 4, 2016. http://www.zip06.com/letters/20160504/strong-schools-drive-economic-activity