Letter to the editor | Community value

May 16, 2014 

Some voters view the proposed renovation of State College Area High School simply in terms of the dollars it will add to their property tax bill. While there are significant safety and educational benefits to the project, the fiscal concerns are valid and important. However, it is vitally important to consider the financial impact with a wider view.

While the entire nation struggled through a cratering of property values from which we are still recovering, Happy Valley remained happier than many other places in that respect due to a variety of advantages, including our excellent public schools.

A 2010 Wall Street Journal article, for example, cited the significant impact of highly regarded schools in buoying property values during the housing crisis. A commitment to maintaining safe, modern facilities is not only a matter of practicality, but also of perception.

The State College Area School District is held in such esteem because it produces great outcomes, but that reputation is a resource we must constantly conserve and renew. Penn State is the economic engine of our entire region, and the university relies on the perceived quality of our school system as a key recruiting tool for top faculty. This results in an economic trickle-down effect benefiting the whole community.

When you go to vote Tuesday, please consider the big picture. Vote for the long-term financial stability and competitiveness of our region. Vote yes on State High.

Scott Thomas

State College

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