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Thursday, August 5, 2010

A School Levy Equals Tax: Response

Sure enough, taxes will go up with a special levy tax, but this is a tax we must impose on ourselves for the benefit of our children and for the very reasons why some say we cannot afford to do so…lack of jobs.

Like it or not, the economy of the 21st century is changing. The good paying industrial-based jobs that supported us during the 19th and 20th centuries are transitioning to more efficient systems, using less people who must have specialized training and advanced learning skills to succeed. With fewer industrial jobs, future employment opportunities providing good paying jobs require heightened thinking and problems solving skills in technological areas. Every job will see drastic changes and new jobs will be created. Statistics say that 75% of the jobs for which this year’s kindergarten students will apply have not yet been invented. Think about that for a minute. To ensure our children’s future we must be willing to make the hard choices now (even if it may be a hardship) to provide our educators with the necessary tools to prepare our children for this reality. We must be willing to go beyond what the state can provide.

The Randolph County BOE has “tightened its belt” since 1988 to the point where there are no more notches to use. We have raised an entire generation of Randolph County children, many without the benefits of enrichment and accelerated learning opportunities provided to all when levy funds are available. An OK education is no longer good enough. Who, more than our children, deserve the best? Do we leave a secure future only to those outside Randolph County?

The proposed equation (Levy=Tax) needs to be completed: Levy = tax = 21st century education. The economic development that accompanies a high quality education can no longer be substituted with the status quo.