The children of Montana deserve the best education that we can provide, and sadly, this is an area where many communities have great difficulty. Local property taxes provide a large part of the funding required for schools within their immediate area, and while this provides well for growing or affluent communities, it leaves much of the State without proper funding. Many of our schools are in disrepair and have little in the way of resources. If we expect our children to compete in the world of tomorrow we must allow them to excel today.
To this end I propose a number of options designed to increase state revenue, while minimizing taxes on Montana citizens. We have significant resources readily available from gold, gems, timber and livestock, to agriculture and entrepreneurs, Montana truly is the Treasure State. We are among the top in the world for recreational tourism, even with much of our public lands difficult to access. We need only to work as a team, develop a detailed plan, and execute it methodically. We can't change things overnight, but we can determine attainable short, medium and long term goals which will ensure the well-being of Montana's future for generations to come.
New schools can be built in and around existing communities, as well as those we develop over time. We can provide computers with high speed internet access to allow for the rapid exchange of information, extending educational opportunities well beyond the classroom. Knowledge is power and if we wish to see our children prosper we must empower them to stand on their own in an increasingly competitive world. As the world and the society around us becomes more and more industrial we must provide opportunities that allow our children to have access to state of the art technology and advanced learning potential.
Other nations such as China are graduating scientists and engineers at numbers that far exceed that of the United States. If we are to maintain our position as the world's most powerful nation we must teach future generations the skills they need to compete in the economy of the future. New curriculum focused on advanced learning such as math, science, engineering and technology will grant future generations the ability to achieve great things for our state and our country.
Additionally, we must teach our children critical life skills such as basic budget management and personal finances. Our children must understand how the financial world works. Exposing our children to the world of financial and credit systems, and how to use them to their advantage, is a critical life skill and must not be overlooked. Adult educational programs must also be expanded, allowing for older generations to develop new skills in order to meet the needs of an evolving economy.
It is my intention to use every tool at our disposal with the singular goal of better providing for the security of our learning centers. To do otherwise is a waste of resources that only serves to follow bureaucratic standards while ignoring the opportunity to make a difference. Schools must be safe from violence and threat of harm to students and we must spare no expense to ensure the safety of our children.
The solution to all of our problems are readily available. We need only act with purpose to provide for the betterment of our communities and our state. The result is happier, more stable Montana families, and in the end, that is what matters most.