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  • Cathy O'Connor

funding education critical to economic development

Schools and economic development are interdependent in every community. Great schools have a magnet effect – attracting highly educated workers who want quality education for their children, as well as the companies that employ them.

A thriving economy, where people earn top wages, creates more tax support for schools. You can’t have great schools without a growing economy and vice versa.

While our city government doesn’t control funding for schools (revenue comes from federal, state, county and city taxes or fees, appropriated by the Legislature to the Oklahoma Department of Education), we can encourage changes to allow local control on how and at what level our schools are funded. Our City Council recently inked a resolution of support for the Oklahoma City Public Schools, and the mayor and city manager jointly authored an opinion piece about giving Oklahoma City residents local control over the mill levy and elimination of certain tax exemptions.

Education impacts a community in multiple ways. A highly educated workforce is attractive to companies looking to expand or relocate. It creates a better tax base with higher earnings that support the best city services: transportation, parks, emergency services and more.

Read full article in The Journal Record

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