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Ray Rannfeldt

November 12, 2017
Reinbeck Courier

Dear Editor,

I find it interesting that the building used for Reinbeck's daycare is owned by the school system (Gladbrook's building is too). Given that, why do users have to pay for daycare? Parents don't directly pay for their students attending other school buildings so why do they pay for just the daycare? It seems the answer to that question may be that daycare is considered to be an "unofficial" part of our school's function, ie: it isn't formally a part of our education process even though it is considered a "feeder" to our education system. I agree with that at face value but I now begin to wonder about whether or not all "unofficial" parts of our educational process should be paid for using school funds. Isn't our sports program an unofficial activity? How about our music and art activities outside of the classroom? I think most of us would agree that these, and other typical unofficial activities, are desirable and we readily agree to paying for them with our tax dollars. So, in the final analysis, shouldn't the unofficial daycare part of our school's function be paid for by our school system? Research indicates some school systems do provide daycare free to community members. Their logic in providing free daycare is that doing so encourages families to move to and stay in their communities and that those families then pass their children into the school system which, in turn, increases money coming to the school through tax dollars. This logic also sees increases in city tax revenues due to increases in real estate values and increased property tax dollars. This logic seems reasonable given that such a necessary service as daycare is provided free. Wow, what an incentive to come to Reinbeck! Maybe we should consider using non-city, donated daycare expansion money to provide free daycare services - a sort of scholarship that is not paid back if the students enter the school system and stay for a specified period of time. Wouldn't that approach more directly encourage people to move/stay to Reinbeck and potentially join our school system and our community? Let the school system then pay for expanding the daycare building as it sees fit using increased state funding made available by higher enrollment. Or, maybe a plan for daycare expansion could be developed using underused, existing school building space. But, all of that is school business, not the city's. Let the school system provide whatever incentive works best. Let the city use its money to take care of its "official" assets of which the daycare expansion is not a part.


Ray Rannfeldt




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