Ann Ball: Love community schools
Love your Steamboat community? Then love our schools, because they greatly influence quality of life in the ’Boat. How? Here are 4 examples:
Less crime and a safer community. A study reported in the “American Economic Review” on the effects of education on crime found that a one-year increase in the average years of schooling completed reduces violent crime by almost 30 percent, motor vehicle theft by 20 percent, arson by 13 percent and burglary and larceny by about 6 percent.
Better health. Educated people have better jobs and better access to health care and insurance. Effective education improves decision-making abilities that can result in healthier, longer lives. Graduating from high school improves the quality of health, reduces dependence on public health programs by 60 percent and cuts by six times the rate of alcohol abuse.
Educated people are better equipped to participate in civic and political process. A great community needs great leaders. One report states that a one-year increase in the median education level results in a more than 13 percent rise in political primary turnout.
Well-educated people volunteer more, make better neighbors and are more tolerant of different viewpoints.
Excellence in our Steamboat schools is a societal human resource and quality of life issue for every resident. Our Steamboat school system needs more student capacity, incorporated preschool programs, improved 21st century academic program space and enhanced athletic and community amenities. Good schools will help create a community where people want to live whether staying after high school graduation, returning after college or choosing Steamboat as a place for location-neutral careers or retirement.
We are at a crossroads where we have to decide to support our schools to provide for excellent education for now and for the future. An investment in our schools is an investment in our Steamboat quality of life.
I do not have children or grandchildren who live in Steamboat, but I hope that I represent many of you who value all children and feel that educating them is in the best interest of the entire community. Please join me and vote, ‘yes’ on 3A and 3B.
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A local resident since 1969 who worked in social services and real estate, Catherine Lykken has decided, at age 85, not to renew her professional real estate license next year.