Customarily, the benefits of public education have been measured over the long-term.
As students graduate from high school and enter the workforce or attend college, they contribute back to society and their communities through both civic engagement, and financial support. This would not be possible without good public schools.
However, a greater and more important benefit of good schools includes economic development. There are people that work for the city of Scottsdale whose job involves implementing two tasks. The first task is to attract new business to Scottsdale. The second is to keep business here. These tasks are immeasurably more difficult with inferior schools.
A company’s decision to relocate is influenced significantly by the quality of schools in a city. When a company relocates, it relocates families. No employer wants to move here and condemn the families of its employees to failing schools. When a company comes here with a multi-million-dollar payroll, the additional economic activity generated will be several times larger.
New companies do not just bring jobs; they create additional jobs. Regrettably, it also works in reverse when a company leaves for reasons such as inferior schools.
Lastly, there are indirect cultural benefits that increase with a good education system. A well-educated, prosperous citizen tends to support cultural and leisure activities, such as museums, libraries, parks, the arts, and adult education. These activities are available to all, including those, like myself, without children attending SUSD. We all benefit!
We all pay for bad schools. We all gain from good schools.