Nichols: Why education matters for Delawareans of all ages


Jake Nichols is a resident of Dagsboro.

Some of us may believe that, if we are no longer in school ourselves, or our kids are long out of school, then Delaware’s educational system shouldn’t matter to us. Oh, but it does. Education matters for all Delawareans. And here’s why.

Fact: Overwhelmingly, high-wage states are states with a well-educated workforce.

States can increase the strength of their economies and their ability to grow and attract high-wage employers by investing in education and increasing the number of well-educated citizens. Providing expanded access to high-quality education will not only expand economic opportunity for residents but also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do. Anything else!

Investing in education is also good for state budgets in the long run, since workers with higher incomes contribute more through taxes over the course of their lifetimes. Even Democrats should like this.

So, if you prefer to live in a state that is rich in culture, opportunities, activities and services, then you want a state with a strong educational foundation for its children and young adults. Education matters.

A state that does not offer quality education is one where the brightest will move out of the state looking for better opportunities, thus leaving the state in a financial and demographic deficit. Without our most productive younger citizens, we don’t have innovation, we lose our industry, and we lose people power. Without education, the state’s economy will decline. Education matters.

And what does a declining economy lead to? Poverty and dependence on the state. An increased population dependent on the state leads to increased taxes and more poverty. Poverty, through lack of opportunity, leads to ... crime! Crime leads to a lack of basic safety and security in our workplaces, our neighborhoods and our homes. With increased crime comes decreased freedom and independence.

So, yes, education matters! The education system in Delaware affects you and the ones you love. So, how does Delaware’s education system stack up?

Fact: Delaware ranked 47th in the country, with the fourth worst overall test scores.

Fact: Seventeen schools throughout Delaware have single-digit proficiency. That’s below 10%, and sometimes, it’s only 3% proficiency in math or English. Read that again: Single-digit proficiency in math or English!

If Delaware is to turn around and meet the demands of a civilized society, then it needs to turn this abysmal track record on education around, and the Democrats are just not the ones who are going to do it. They haven’t, not since 2009, and they won’t do it now, and they won’t do it in 2024. Their big plan is to throw even more money at this money pit, which is worse than not helpful; it’s downright destructive.

Delaware deserves better, and First State students deserve a first-rate education. It’s time for change. Vote out the party in power since 2009, before we can’t. In 2024, vote for change.

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