Letter to the Editor August 24, 2016

To the Editor:
Every homeowner in Maple Lake has in interest in supporting our school district’s proposed operating and capital projects levies which will be on the ballot for voters on November 8th. These initiatives would maintain the current funding level in Maple Lake schools and help prevent cuts in critical programs and positions. One of the most important reasons we need to support the school’s referendum is because teacher/student ratios are at risk.
It is a fact that property values are closely tied to the strength of schools. According to a survey conducted in 2013 by Realtor.com, 91% of homebuyers cited schools as important in their search. One of five buyers said that they would pay 10% over their budgeted amount for a favorable school (http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/the-right-school-district-how-much-do-schools-affect-real-estate-prices/).
Sites like Realtor.com offer school rating information when a buyer looks at a house. The top three real estate search sites—Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia—rate Maple Lake Elementary as either an 8 or 9 out of 10; higher than the Elementary schools in Annandale or Buffalo. In every case, teacher/student ratios are in the forefront of the ranking system. As such, if we don’t prioritize smaller classes, our rankings will suffer and that will affect how our property value is perceived.
We currently have an opportunity to grow and strengthen our community. In fact, Maple Lake is trending as desirable in terms of relocation. Our area is up in popularity according to Trulia, whose statistics show that Wright County is ranked #12 of 87 counties in Minnesota in search popularity, and Maple Lake’s zip code was ranked #8 out of 25 within the county. (http://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Minnesota/Wright_County-heat_map/) We need to show prospective buyers that this is where they want to raise their children.
Certainly, as a parent, I want my kids in smaller classes. But I am also a homeowner who wants my property value to recover and grow. I hope that voting citizens will also recognize the financial benefits of supporting both items on the ballot; the operating levy and the capital project levy, and I encourage everyone to vote “Yes” and “Yes” on November 8.
Natalie McClory
Maple Lake, MN