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I highly encourage you to vote YES for the Budget Increase Override.

The Sedona Red Rock News encourages voters to vote "YES" on the Sedona-Oak Creek School District budget increase override in November. Mail-in ballots arrive in next week.Education is one of the best investments we can make for ourselves and for our children. It is an investment in the future. It pays off in countless dividends: for us, for our children and for our society. If we hope to maintain or improve the quality of life in our community and continue to prosper as a city, then the best schools we can offer are essential.

The economic vitality of a city is linked to the performance of its schools. A recent survey of the National League of Cities shows “that city officials view the qual-ity of public education and local schools as the cornerstone of their cities’ success.”

As for the general public, in a recent public opinion survey the assertion that public schools “improve the local economy and attract business” was identified as the second-most important benefit, which schools bring to communities.

A strong public school system equates to a strong community. Investing in the skill level of our children increases productivity, and education leads to higher wages. Public schools influence economic growth. A strong school system educates the local labor force and can also increase an area’s quality of life.

The value of your home will increase relative to the education being given to our students. These value increases easily compensate for the minor increase in property taxes of approving the override.

Public school facilities themselves impact economic development, particularly in communities like Sedona where school facilities are community-oriented and oftentimes serve a public purpose. I can’t imagine that everyone in Sedona hasn’t been to at least one event at any of our three schools. The need for businesses to draw from an existing educated workforce can only come from quality local public schools.

Strong schools make strong communities. That’s why I encourage you to vote YES on the school district override. Education is one of the best investments we can make and this is a chance for Sedona residents to step up and show that we want to make a difference for the betterment of our community.

Remember to look for your ballot; it will be coming in the mail next week. Be sure to vote YES and mail your ballot back in, as this is a mail-in ballot election.

Robert B. Larson



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