I have spent my professional life pouring into the spaces that lift our region up. That often requires me to wear multiple hats, and that is how I come to you today, wearing the many hats that are important to me.
I am a fierce advocate for public K-12 education. Having had three children attend public schools in our region, and after leading two successful levy and bond campaigns, I know that schools are critical for developing healthy kids, preparing them to reach their highest potential. As a business leader, I know that no community can thrive without supporting its schools.
I feel so strongly, that I’m leaning into this hard conversation with those of you who question the benefit of voting for bonds and levies in our region.
If by voting “no” you require schools to lay off staff, close buildings, shutter sports programs and eliminate activities, how does that benefit our collective future? If you create barriers for students to access technology and learn in well-equipped spaces, what is the impact on those who will eventually take their place in board rooms, surgical centers, classrooms, newspapers, construction sites and creative spaces?
You might ask why focus on K-12 education, with all of the challenges we face, including homelessness, public safety and mental health.
My answer: Because investing in K-12 education is system-change thinking. It is the one thing we can do upstream to impact ALL kids before we have to invest in all those other things that take infinite time and resources, like homelessness, treatment for addiction and jails.
Public schools are mandated to serve every child who walks through the doors, regardless of circumstance. Keeping each of them engaged is an audacious challenge. We have known for years that sports, activities and access to technology keep kids in school, impacting academics, engagement, and mental health. It is the only way I know to change the path our region finds itself on today.
Please join me in some future thinking and vote “yes” for school bonds and levies this February.
Marty Dickinson, Chief Marketing Officer, STCU
To learn more about school bonds and levies, visit EducationGrowsEconomies.com
*Advertisements paid for by The Alliance for a Competitive Economy of Greater Spokane Incorporated. Contributors: STCU, ALSC Architects, Energy System Engineers LLC, Lydig Construction