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Investing in education

School Talk

September 28, 2012
By Harold Remme - ISD 88 Superintendent , The Journal

The November 6 election will take place in approximately 40 days.

Between now and then, the general public will be exposed to many media commercials, candidate debates and lawn signs will appear everywhere.

The Nov. 6 ballot will ask voters to determine who the president will be, who local and regional legislators will be, several social /constitutional considerations and local school levy referendums.

The topic of a local school referendum is important to the future of the students attending the public system and the communities served in ISD 88. Often, schools are thought of in terms of how much education costs rather than how much it contributes to the overall prosperity of a community. The investment in public education influences the future economic success of a community.

Research studies have determined that the return on investment in early education is between $8-$16 per $1 invested. A high school graduate is likely to earn about $7,000 more per year than a non-graduate. A person with a college bachelor?s degree will earn an average of $21,000 more annually than a high school graduate.

Economic research on the community value of quality education reveals the following: (a) Property values increase, (b) High school graduation increases lifetime earnings, (c) There is a reduction in public crime costs and public health costs, (d) Every dollar spent on education results in 53 cents spent in a regional economy, (e) Every job in a school district is associated with an additional 0.64 regional jobs.

Keeping pace with inflation is important to maintaining quality education. The 2013 basic education funding formula in Minnesota schools provides $5,224 per pupil unit. That means that, when adjusted for inflation, every Minnesota school will receive less per pupil funding in 2013 than it received in 2003. According to the Minnesota Department of Education, state aid to school districts has dropped in the past ten years by 13.3 percent after accounting for inflation.



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