Letter: Perham/Dent School Operating Levy: Support Strong Communities
Why have our communities isolated themselves to some degree from the economic downturn and retained their progressive status?
In response to this, it becomes clear that schools create and impact this vibrant economy. The many activities, events and routines of a school bring people to town five or more times per week participating in the economy buying lunch, gas or grocery. The visitors to schools, in addition, stay in our hotels, visit our gift shops and eat in our restaurants.
Studies by Art Rolnick of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis show that the investment in our youth carries a return on investment sixteen times over. Students with a positive start in education are less likely to engage in activities which lead to a greater burden on society in the long run. These have been measured by Rolnick in terms of behaviors such as smoking which leads to higher healthcare costs and illegal activities which leads to higher court and prison costs. We can share a dollar today or sixteen dollars tomorrow.
The answer also makes economic sense. Conservative estimates believe that money recycles seven times through an economy. Strong schools increase business, which creates employment. More workers create a greater demand for housing and increased traffic flow for retailers. These young new workers also volunteer in our communities, in service organizations and churches, or as firefighters and EMT's. All these new workers will need services such as hospitals, churches and financial planners. This increased growth will allow our tax base to be spread out over more homes and business. The fastest way to lower taxes is to grow our economy. It will be impossible to have a strong economy unless we have strong schools, churches, hospitals and transportation. If we have a weak economy the reverse is true. Homes and businesses will become vacant and difficult to sell. Retailers will close, creating less choice and higher prices. Services will leave and so will our quality of life.
We have awesome communities full of wonderful opportunities for those of us who choose to make lakes country our lifetime home. We are blessed with wonderful houses of worship, remarkable community centers, beautiful lakes and parks, first-class medical facilities and lively small-town shopping. Lets' remember to keep this alive and growing November 2nd. Keep spurring the local economy. Give our young people the same access and quality of life that we've been given and VOTE YES. Continue to make our schools beacons of our magnificent communities.