Facebook followers debate CTE tax

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette file CTE classes offer students hands on instruction and training that put them at a much higher advantage whether they enter the workforce after graduation, or continue their education at a post-secondary institution.

HANCOCK — The Daily Mining Gazette posted an article on its Facebook page regarding the passage of the 1-mill tax to support and expand the career and technical education program in the Copper Country Intermediate School District. The article title stated the new tax would boost the region’s economy, an assertion at least one Facebook commenter took issue with.

“This will boost the local economy how?,” the follower stated on the site. “This looks like higher taxes to me, I missed something there… Please expand on how this boosts the regions’ economy. I like the idea of consolidating school districts, less overhead, more for the teachers. The school I attended now has half the students it did when I attended.”

A local banker responded that in his business he has been in contact with many area business owners, and they have voiced similar complaints.

“Over the last few years I have called on dozens of businesses, and asked them, ‘What is the one thing that holds back your growth?'” he stated. “The overwhelming top answer is a lack of skilled applicants for positions. Local businesses could be growing and investing, which in turn, would lead to housing demand, retail spending, need for new support businesses, and so on. This is a great investment for our community.”

The initial commenter responded by saying that the responsibility of funding students’ technical training, but rather that cost should be absorbed by the student wanting the training.

“If you want technical schooling, pay for and attend a community College. Technical training is not your average property owners’ problem. Reasonably priced technical training is a problem. The lack of apprenticeships is a problem. Not because of the lack of work, but because of the overbearing pressure of regulation, and the cost of employing new & inexperienced workers.”

Another follower responded by saying she has heard that many young people are forced to leave the area due to employment considerations.

All I ever hear is that our young people have to move out of the area for work reasons,” she stated. “CTE programs provide kids a skill/trade that then leads to growing our local workforce.”

She went on to state that while not all students are ideally suited for university degrees, they should be entitled to a trade or technical instruction.

“Times have changed, not every kid is college bound,” she stated. “Give them a skill to make a living, and there is less need for…welfare. So why not pay a little extra on taxes in order to save in the long run? Doesn’t that seem sensible?”