As August rolls around and the beginning of a new school year approaches, I feel excited about the possibilities our community has. As bright, young students fill the classroom to learn new things, I would challenge all of us to learn new things and take the time to become educated about the upcoming bond election. I believe our community could have an even brighter future if we pass this bond.
While I am no education expert, I would like to present a business case for the bond. Let’s define the occasionally intangible words of “Economic Development” not with words, but with action. Investing in education leads to economic development. Quality schools are one of the top features businesses use to attract prospective employees. Quality schools can also help recruit new businesses who are looking to relocate or expand. It is no secret that investing in our schools and education attracts and retains young families to a community. As our population continues to decline, renovated facilities that meet educational, safety and community demands could influence a decision to move to Great Bend or return “home” to build a family.
In addition to attracting prospective employees and families to Great Bend, with the addition of pre-school classrooms in our public-school system, an estimated 20 jobs will be created for current members or potential new members of our community. Investing in our schools also helps attract and retain quality teachers in our district and secure top talent from the workforce at large.
The economic boost of the bond should not be ignored. After the passage of a bond, construction will be a two to three year process. During this time, local contractors will be put to work; hotels and rental houses will be filled; restaurants and shopping will also receive a boost. The benefit of these extra dollars will be felt by our local businesses with the influx of local investment.
When our local economy grows, tax payers win! As the tax base and county valuations increase, the bond and interest mills on property taxes will be adjusted. A decision to invest in education today is not a static 20-year investment. Investing in education is a critical investment in the future of our economy and community.
I encourage you to become educated by visiting www.greatbendschools.net/bond. I truly believe that after you read the facts, you will vote yes. You will vote yes—for our kids, our community, and our future.