Sure, it’s great to help kids, and their class sizes are too big, and they’re falling through the cracks, and they can’t compete, and “what will happen to this lost generation of under-educated, un-attended to youth?” Noted.

But you should really vote yes for Measure 34-204 local option levy for your own selfish reasons. Forget the kids.

Here’s how it looks:

1) It’s a cheap way to significantly boost your home’s value. When a young family is moving to Washington County and is looking for a place to land where their children will receive a solid education, the amount more they are willing to pay for that home is in the thousands. Google it. (Actually, don’t. You’ll see that the Beaverton School District’s quality rankings have dropped significantly over the years. Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.)

Ask your Realtor; she’ll tell you. Voting for this levy is a savvy business decision. Good call!

2) There is a chance that those kids will actually stay here to live and work in Beaverton. They really might. I certainly don’t want that educationally short-changed person serving as my loan officer or financial advisor. Or my general contractor! No thank you. I’m voting yes on Measure 32-204 for safety’s sake alone.

3) Speaking of safety, you know the No. 1 contributor to drug use and crime of all sorts? Poverty. At least Beaverton still has its award-winning police department. Oh, wait. That might not stick when these kids can’t compete beyond minimum wage jobs (You really want to worry, check out some of the stats on BSD graduation rates) and the police are overrun with theft reports and worse. Then we’ll lack quality education and protection. So now I’ve lost home value, and I’m not safe! Sign me up for two levies, please.

Joking aside, here’s what prompted me to write: One of the opinions from last week said, “Perhaps a dose of tough love would better serve our public school system.” We did that last time a school levy came up. Didn’t work. Made it worse. We’re nowhere. You hear “16 days of school cut” and it sounds bad. But when you look at it as three weeks of school plus a day, it’s just gross (unless you’re my daughter, who thinks it’s awesome).

The bottom line is that our state funding for education is broken, at best. We can vote people into office who are legitimately pro-education and pro-fiscal responsibility (you can be both!). We can work to put legislation in place to fix it. That’s how this works, people. We solve problems. We can’t fight these battles using our kids’ futures as a weapon. And as much as we hate it, sometimes a Band-Aid solution is the right one to stop the bleeding.

I don’t expect those who are adamantly opposed to any new taxes will be swayed by this letter, but those of you on the fence, or whose kids are grown and gone so you just weren’t going to weigh in on it, please step up and vote yes on Measure 32-204.

Wendi Eiland is a Beaverton small business owner who serves on the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She is also a Beaverton resident and mother.

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