Well, school’s out, the kids are happy, and the teachers are exhausted! It’s a good time to consider what a bargain we get here in Iredell County with our schools. A few weeks ago, I attended an information session that the Realtor Association set up with the Superintendents of our two school systems in Iredell County- Brady Johnson of Iredell-Statesville Schools and Mark Edwards of Mooresville Schools. They each went through a long list of accomplishments for their respective systems and noted that both systems consistently rank in the top ten in performance of all school systems in North Carolina. But they really got our attention when it was noted that in terms of spending per student by the 115 systems in the state, Mooresville is ranked at 100th position and Iredell-Statesville at 105th. That means all the other schools on up to the #1 position spend more per student than do our schools. I think it’s remarkable that we can get such wonderful results for so little money compared to the great majority of school systems in the state.
Iredell County’s tax rate is one of the lower ones in the state, and our local politicians guard that jealously as one of our best assets. As a taxpayer, I certainly agree. However, we’ve all got to understand that the quality of our education system in the county is a huge asset in the eyes of businesses looking to relocate or considering whether to stay or leave. School quality is one of the very first issues that they address when they start looking for locations. They know that having good schools nearby is one sure way to attract and retain good quality employees. That has a great impact on all of us whether we have kids in school or not. A healthy business environment provides long-term benefits for our property tax base as well as money spent with local retailers and services that help them survive and prosper.
Thanks to all who work in our Iredell County school systems for providing such an excellent education for our students and providing such an excellent reputation for educational quality. That’s one of the reasons that Mooresville and Statesville have consistently ranked #1 over many years for business growth by Site Selection Magazine, based on the amount of investment in new and expanded business for similar communities in the USA.