To the editor:
The New Ulm Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit organization that exists to promote commercial and industrial growth and sustainability in New Dim. The Board of NUEDC has unanimously voted to support the upcoming District 88 referendum, and we would like to explain why we believe that upcoming vote is critical to our city's economic viability.
Quality public schools play an important role in business attraction and worker recruitment efforts. While the role is difficult to measure, it is real. If you have any doubts, ask any of the larger employers in town. Potential employees considering relocation to New Uim invariably ask about the quality of our schools. Further, firms considering New Ulm as a site to re- locate their existing business or to start-up a new business factor heavily in their decision- making process the quality of the pool of potential employees and their ability to attract employees to move to New Ulm; all of which is tied directly to the quality of the public education New Ulm can provide to its students.
A referendum not only assists the public schools, but also has benefits for the private schools we have here, since these schools receive support from the public system when it comes to textbooks, busing, special needs assistance, and even coop sports. Further, when recruiting for employees, the fact that New Him has three school systems to choose from - one public and two private - differentiates us from other communities, which is a definite "plus". Good schools make it easier for our employers to create and fill jobs here in New Ulm.
High performing schools contribute to a good quality of life, which is also important for our economic development. This is not limited to providing a good K - 12 education for our youth. It includes Early Childhood Family Education, Kids Connection, Creative Kids, community education, FFA, sporting events, and performing arts to name a few. A good quality of life is something we all benefit from.
We believe that the District 88 School District Board has cut its budget as far as it can go, if not too far. We believe that the School District consists of dedicated and quality-minded administrators, teachers, and support staff who are fiscally responsible and have sacrificed as much as can be expected of them. What they lack is adequate funding. The State of Minnesota's budgeting process is responsible to some extent, but our Community must now take action and approve this modest referendum to provide the necessary support to our children and our schools,
The New Ulm area has much to be proud of. Our history and our culture are unique. We are proud of our heritage and our town. Lets not put ourselves in a position where that pride is tarnished by not properly funding our schools. Will that cost something? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.
We urge the community to vote yes on the referendum.
Board of Directors
NUEDC Coordinator Brian Tohal