Letter: Vote yes, because good schools help make life great in DL
We have no children or grandchildren in the Detroit Lakes schools,
nor is it likely that we will. The passage of the bond issue will
raise our property taxes significantly. So why is it that we are
going to vote "yes" for the $49.8 million bond issue on Nov. 6?
The short answer is that even without children going to our schools,
we obtain tangible benefits from having a first-rate school system.
Research shows that growing and healthy communities are closely linked
to possessing comprehensive, challenging, and forward-looking
Well-supported schools make it easier for a community to attract and sustain business, because successful businesses require a skilled and productive local labor force, an outcome of a local well-equipped and funded school system.
Good schools also attract better workers from outside the community by
providing superior educational opportunities to their children.
A healthy and growing business community activates an employee
multiplier effect — a single good job in a new business may generate
several more jobs by providing goods and services to the business'
Thus members of the community reap broad benefits by
bringing more health care workers, car repairers, construction
workers, merchandisers, and perhaps even more teachers. The
advantages also flow measurably into the community's churches,
restaurants, service clubs and more.
Research also has shown that strong, well-funded educational systems
in areas with superior natural amenities, like Detroit Lakes, are able
to compound the economic and employment effects of good schools in
forming and sustaining healthy communities.
Among outcomes of this synergy is that amenity-rich locales are more likely to retain high school graduates or attract their return when they have completed education and training.
All of these benefits from superior educational systems have a direct
and favorable impact on local incomes and property values, and can
result in lowered future property taxes by spreading the costs of
public facilities and services over a larger taxpayer base. We see
such impacts as opportunities for personal financial gain.
In focusing on buildings, classrooms and facilities, we should not
forget the teachers who are the key to high quality educational
Facilities. But good teachers deserve and desire good facilities, and
it is hard to attract and retain them if classroom conditions are
substantially less than those provided in other nearby districts.
So good schools are a big part of what makes life great in Detroit
Lakes. Looking forward to an even greater future here, we will vote