By Bill Knief
Hard as it is to get used to, by the time this column comes out, summer will be just about over and the first day of the UNM-Taos 2012 Fall Semester will be less than two weeks away. This is the time when the lines in the enrollment office start to lengthen, it takes longer to get an appointment with an advisor, classes fill up and the whole registration process really begins to try one’s patience and nerves.
Why do fourteen hundred of our friends and neighbors go to such great lengths to disrupt their already busy schedules? Simply this: from Pre-K to PhD, education makes possible a better life.
In a world of evolving priorities, whether we’re talking about changing professions, working toward an academic degree, sharpening skills to be more competitive in the workforce, improving one’s prospects for a better income, being a more positive role model for the next generation or perpetuating a lifelong love of learning, a good education makes all the difference in the world. And that’s why our area school districts, charter schools and nonprofit community college need the wholehearted support of every citizen.
Therefore I’d like to correct some misinformation circulating in the blogosphere recently in reference to the Gross Receipts Tax for Education which comes up for a vote September 18. The E-GRT, as it’s called, provides for the renewal, after a pause of several months, of the half-cent mill levy which funds capital projects for public school and higher education institutions in the county.
This is not a new tax but simply the continuation of an existing mill levy that has already been approved by Taos County citizens twice in the past twenty years. It first provided seed money for the creation of Holy Cross Hospital and then, among other education initiatives, the initial build out of UNM-Taos Klauer Campus—projects that most citizens would say were well worth the cost. If approved for a third time, for the next ten years the E-GRT will fund much needed capital projects for area school districts, charter schools and our nonprofit community college at no additional cost to county residents.
Call it twenty-twenty foresight: the students of the future will continue to utilize the facilities this revenue stream can provide, in their determination to lead productive and rewarding lives.
Meanwhile, the future is already upon us: UNM-Taos classes start August 20.
Pick up a schedule and call 737-6200, or come to the enrollment office in Pueblo Hall on the Klauer campus as soon as possible. You can even go online at taos.unm.edu to register if you are a returning student. First time students should plan to attend New Student Orientation August 16.