Iowa’s education has competitive advantage

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Dear Editor,

I'm sorry to say it, but Iowa -- with its massive school construction enhancements -- has a competitive advantage over Illinois when it comes to young families choosing where to live in the Quad Cities. 

For the past 10 years, every Iowa county has been collecting a one-cent sale tax with the money earmarked to new school construction or repair. Because of that initiative, new science labs, gymnasiums and auditoriums have been built. Technology has been added to the classrooms, and Iowa residents have a new sense of pride in their schools. 

Residents of the Illinois side of the Quad Cities have the chance to do what Iowa has done. This April there will be a referendum on the ballot asking voters to approve a one-cent sales tax for schools. A one cent increase would generate as much as $13 million a year for schools in Rock Island County. While I believe educational opportunities on both sides of the river are good, the quality of the learning facilities in Iowa make a big difference in preparing our kids for the difficult global economy ahead. Passage of the one-percent sales tax in Rock Island County is a great and smart investment that will help better position schools to educate children for that global economy. 

The new construction and facilities improvements will also attract new parents to the Illinois Quad Cities. And when that happens, you will see a boost in new homes and economic development similar to what has happened in Scott County during the past decade. With your support the positive changes we see across the river can happen here in Rock Island County.

Ken Koupal

Regional President,

U.S. Bank in the Quad Cities