Well, the Vote No! faction of Grinnell have made their voices heard and they loudly proclaimed that they just DGAF about the welfare and education of the town’s public school children. Elementary school children are attending school in a 100-year-old building that hasn’t been updated in seventy years. It’s almost laughable in its pathos– like the images of the rural poor in China, the only difference is that in rural China the schools are newly built. China sees itself as a world superpower and so invests in its future through education.
Grinnell-Newburg School District custodians and maintenance workers will continue to burn money in boilers that were top of the line during WWII, in buildings that would be firetraps if they didn’t contain so much asbestos.
The poor investment in education only grows the divide between the haves and have-nots. The wealthy who don’t want to fund public education (and can afford private) convince poor, less educated voters to vote against taxes that could help lift their children out of poverty through educational opportunities. The Vote No! folks are subsidizing the lifestyle of the wealthy and rich on the backs of poor children, and they seem to be proud of it.
If I could leave the Vote No! folks with one thought it’s that what goes around comes around, and when the children of today are responsible for your care in your twilight years know that they may choose to be as selfish as you were on Tuesday. Or, because they weren’t afforded the kind of education that would make them competitive in the job market, they won’t be able to afford any kind of care for you. You’ll be left with whatever tax-funded care is available and there will be little comfort if everyone votes as you have, with only your own short-term self-interest in mind.
Grinnell had an opportunity to put the kids first. To value education and enjoy the economic prosperity it would bring to the area long term. To earn the respect of other towns and cities. To attract more families and businesses to Grinnell, generating more tax income so that the burden is less and the quality of life improved for everyone.
But no. $0.64/day is too much to ask of property owners. Grinnell’s children aren’t worth it.