InClass

Centered: The Arizona K12 Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Kathy Wiebke, offers her education insights in this monthly column. Every year, I look at my calendar and see where April 15 falls relative to my payday. The reason: I know I will owe money to the state come tax time. As much as I dislike t

Apr 17, 2017

Centered: The Arizona K12 Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Kathy Wiebke, offers her education insights in this monthly column.


Every year, I look at my calendar and see where April 15 falls relative to my payday. The reason: I know I will owe money to the state come tax time. As much as I dislike the physical act of completing and paying my taxes, there is a certain American spirit that embodies the very act.

In reality, I don’t mind paying taxes. In fact, it resembles saluting the flag, singing the national anthem, and voting. It is what we do for the privilege of living in the United States. I know that when I write my check I am paying for the highways on which I drive, the first responders who are there in case I need them, and our public schools. This financial obligation enables a certain quality of life and keeps us safe. Taxes fund our parks, libraries, and Big Bird. They help those who need a hand and the most vulnerable populations. As Americans, this is the price we pay, working toward the greater good.

There are those that balk. For example, I have no children so why should I pay for the schools? And, yet, most of us spent years in public schools. I have never understood the desire to make our corporate taxes unfathomably low because when businesses want to relocate to Arizona it is the quality of schools and life that are the source of inquiry. These things matter to all of us.

It behooves us to support public schools because today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. I want our future teachers, businesspeople, veterans, and physicians to be able to solve the most complex problems. Furthermore, we need tomorrow’s leaders to know how to listen to a diverse set of ideas.

Our schools should have well-trained and highly paid professionals working to better our learners. The rooms should be equipped with modern technologies and the shelves filled with books. All students should have a robust curriculum that includes the arts and physical education, which comes at a cost.

I am playing the game with a long-term mindset. Each time I pay taxes I make an investment, not only in my future, but also in the fate of all citizens because I believe we are worth it.

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