It’s election time again and on the ballot in my community is a $800 million school bond. This sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but some background.
My local school district serves 62,000 students at 66 campuses with over 7,000 employees. The area I live in is suburban and affluent. The area is growing rapidly and a big reason for that is the perceived quality of the school district. This attracts both businesses and families.
And if you missed yesterday’s post, go back and read it first. Here’s the link, The Lie of Increased School Funding.
The local chapter of the “All Taxes are Evil and Public Schools are Bad” political party is going all out to encourage local voters to vote “No” on the bond package. Because:
- Schools bonds are actually taxes.
- School bonds are actually debt.
- There is unnecessary “junk” in the bond.
Let’s address these Mensa level arguments with some facts.
A. School bonds are actually taxes. Yes, they are. When the community votes for school bonds, the community is voting to pay for those bonds over time. The way the community pays for this is thru an increase in taxes. But unlike most taxes, where the community has next to no say in how the funds are allocated, with school bonds, the community directs the allocation. School bonds are not lottery winnings that magically fall from the sky. School bonds are a shared commitment to fund the common good.
B. School bonds are actually debt. Yes, they are. By using debt to fund school infrastructure, those who benefit from the infrastructure, over multiple years, assist in funding the infrastructure. Think of it as a, “If we build it, when they come, we are ready for them and they will help pay for it.” Proposition. That is a whole lot better and significantly more fair than, “We will build it and pay for it; and they will use it, have no stake in it, and not appreciate it.”
C. There is unnecessary junk in the bond. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Some of the junk in bond package…
A teacher training center. Junk, if you don’t believe that training teachers is a good idea. Treasure, if you believe that a highly trained instructional staff is of paramount importance if schools are to build productive citizens, employees, entrepreneurs and leaders.
Artificial turf at the district stadium. Junk, if you don’t believe that a safe, durable field is important. Treasure, if you believe that providing a safe, durable field that will be used by the football, marching band and soccer programs from 18 high schools and junior high schools is pragmatic.
A district robotics / technology lab. Junk, if you believe that all this high tech stuff is just a fad. Treasure, if you believe that teaching and training students with emerging technology is a way to engage students and produce a competitive work force that will serve as a magnet for new and relocating business.
What our anti-tax crowd keeps forgetting is that our community infrastructure is what attracts people to our area, which increases our property values and keep us employed. Cut, depreciate, and over use the infrastructure and the community becomes less attractive. Driving down property values and reducing employment opportunities.
Me, I’m voting for the community good and long term economic prosperity. I’m voting for school bonds.
And for the anti-tax, anti-public school folks, let me put this in words you understand. “Get off my lawn.”
Think. Work. Achieve.
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