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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

educational systems.

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