Stiehm: Austin should vote ‘yes’Published 10:37am Tuesday, November 5, 2013
By Tom Stiehm
Austin Public Schools is asking the citizens in our district for support through a special election vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5. As Mayor of Austin, I encourage all voters to go to your polling place and vote “Yes for Kids.” Adequate funding is critical to keeping our schools moving forward and focused on the future.
Our local businesses rely on a well-educated workforce. That education begins right here in Austin. Our hospital, clinics, health care facilities, manufacturing, research, food processing, retail and service industries all rely on capable, educated employees with the necessary skills to do fulfill their job duties. Quality schools is cited as one of the top reasons families choose to live in a community. Local employers point to the quality of local schools as an important factor in their ability to recruit top-quality employees to work and live in Austin.
Austin also benefits from having many graduates of our local schools choose to stay in Austin, or return to Austin, to raise their families. Austin’s new I.J. Holton school is just one example of how the Austin school district is providing education that prepares our children for the future. The focus on science, engineering, math, arts, and technology will help our students develop skills to be successful in school and beyond.
This election is special in several ways. First of all, the referendum vote for funding for our schools is the only item on the ballot. Second, the state of Minnesota will provide matching funds for the money raised locally. In fact, the state will provide 60 percent of the funding needed, but only if Austin voters approve the referendum. Third, your taxes won’t increase with a yes vote. The school taxes will actually go down because a previous referendum is expiring.
Last, the election is special because it gives you a chance to help determine Austin’s future. The referendum is all about the future of Austin. Investing in our children, by investing in our schools, is investing in the future. Please join me in voting “Yes for Kids” on Tuesday.