Letter to the editor: Keep students on targetResidents of both Cook and Lake counties will soon be asked to vote on proposed school levies. Before you vote, we want to urge you to think about the community you want to live in just 10 years from now.
Residents of both Cook and Lake counties will soon be asked to vote on proposed school levies. Before you vote, we want to urge you to think about the community you want to live in just 10 years from now.
The economic health of our communities depends on attracting and retaining young families. Above all else, young families value good schools for their children. If our schools are failing to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for satisfying careers, their families will leave for school districts that do.
If these young families leave Grand Marais, Silver Bay and Two Harbors, our towns will become retirement communities. When that occurs, the entire tax burden will fall on our aging population with only a handful of young workers left to share the weight. If this sounds like a scare tactic, consider that every recession has resulted in huge shifts in the U.S. population. We have to expect that some will leave our area in search of employment. The health of our communities depends on keeping most of our young families here.
Each of us faces a stark choice. We can vote to save a few dollars now. With already declining state support, that choice will mean our schools will cut teachers and reduce curriculums to the bare minimum required by state standards.
Those standards are focused on preparing students for college, not for the trades. Yet two-thirds of our graduates will not be going to college. Without career-oriented education in technology and skilled trades they will graduate hopelessly unprepared for the high-tech jobs available in or coming to northeastern Minnesota.
With training in skilled trades and technology our youth will be able to fill positions in nursing, culinary arts, emergency services, construction, machining, welding, hydraulics, wind power and other careers. Those skilled jobs are among the highest-paying careers in our region and contribute significantly to the community coffers. The businesses that provide those jobs go to where they can find a skilled work force.
Like someone once said: “You can pay me now, or pay me later.”
Please help provide a strong and viable school curriculum on the North Shore by supporting your school levy.
From Dean Grace, North Shore Trade and Technical Board of Directors