School Levies – Supporting students, families and community
I am in support of the upcoming Arlington School District Levy. Education is one of the single best measures to invest in our future and is a contributing factor to boosting our economic engine.
It is common sense to invest in schools so we can fill young minds with all of the necessary ingredients that prepare them for learning and for life. This is especially true if we start early in the preschool years when 90% of a child’s neural connections are hard wired by age 6. We get a $7 return for every $1 invested, claims James Heckman, a renowned economist and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
In an article in Forbes (July 5, 2012) titled, “What makes a great school,” there is a formula for success:
1. Robust teacher support;
2. Active family engagement;
3. Supportive environmental conditions;
4. Strong social and emotional student growth; and
5. A school-wide climate of high expectations
What do these five secret ingredients have in common with voting for a levy? It sends a message loud and clear that we care about our children and youth. Research suggests that when students feel safe and supported, they thrive and give back to the community.
The fact is that Arlington’s levy renewal will not cost taxpayers additional money. This is not a new tax, but a replacement of our expiring levy which ends this year. The estimated tax rate is expected to be $3.56 per $1,000 of assessed value, lower than the current rate of $3.60 for 2015.
Arlington School District will use this money for materials, curriculum and academic supports in: (1) health and safety for emergency preparedness and transportation, (2) early learning and special education, (3) STEM – Science, technology, engineering and math, and (4) after-school clubs, activities and summer programs.
According to the League of Education Voters, last year, in nearly 60 local bond and levy elections across the state, voters sent a firm message by approving 55 school levies, raising more than $817 million dollars. Arlington students deserve the same opportunities as the students in the rest of the state as they compete for job opportunities and a chance to go to college.
Please, vote Yes for the upcoming Arlington School District levy and give our children a chance to succeed.