“ Staying ahead of the curve in global health,” an April 19 Point of View by Pape Gaye, spoke of the exciting combination of specialized talent, business interests and higher education that is bringing jobs and business investment into the Triangle area. He showcased SwitchPoint, an annual gathering coming up, where “creative minds from around the world will gather to create unlikely partnerships.”
In reading the article, I couldn’t help thinking about the disconnect between this Triangle area of advanced, high tech business innovation and the current state of N.C. public education: at the bottom of national education funding and bleeding experienced teachers to other states and employments.
Past investments in public education have produced the educated work force, great research universities and civic culture that support business innovation and make commercial expansion possible.
Our political leaders’ fixation on lower taxes as the primary motivation for business investment here is terribly short-sighted. What business leader wants to live in a penny-pinching, declining educational culture for raising his/her children and advancing a business that will be looking to advanced innovation and highly qualified workers for staying viable in a competitive economy? Modest increases in tax-based education will pay big dividends in the future.
Robert W. Merriam