Education a Key to Healthy Communities

Michael Moore, eVersity Chief Academic and Operating Officer

Michael Moore, Ph.D., chief academic and operating officer of the University of Arkansas System eVersity, told a large crowd of city officials and guests at the Arkansas Municipal League’s annual Fall Conference that education lifts communities. 

Education is a vital component in making communities as vibrant and healthy as possible, Michael Moore, Ph.D., chief academic and operating officer of the University of Arkansas System eVersity, told a large crowd of city officials and guests at the Arkansas Municipal League’s annual Fall Conference today in Springdale.

“Education is the single-best investment we can possibly make within our communities,” Moore said. “Research supports the fact that college graduates earn more than $1 million over the course of their lifetime. Broken down, those with bachelor’s degrees earn about $21,000 more annually than high school graduates.”

In terms of employment, college graduates are 30 percent more likely to be employed and have a 67 percent increase in salary. Moore said that trickles down to communities through graduates contributing on average of $5,000 more annually in taxes. Higher rates of health care and pension plans also contribute to healthier communities and lower crime rates.

“It’s really pretty simple,” Moore said. “The more educated a community is, the better off it’s going to be all around.”

The Arkansas Municipal League hosted its annual Fall Conference Dec. 2-4 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Springdale, with more than 500 guests representing the state’s municipalities in attendance.

“I think we all have a clear understanding now about how important it is to get kids to college, and to get those who maybe once went to college and never finished across the finish line,” said Rick Elumbaugh, mayor of Batesville and president of the Arkansas Municipal League.