Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tech levy in May would cut tax rate?

Voters in the Edmonds School District will get the chance in May to renew a four-year technology/capital levy that expires in 2008.

If approved, locals would pay 28 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value – a decrease from the current 52 cents per thousand. That would be about $84 a year on a $300,000 house, as opposed to the current rate of $156 a year on the same house. But what happens if it is voted down altogether? Wouldn't that be a decrease from $156 to $0? I can see why the District may want more students to fail the math portion of the WASL, because as adults they would be voting to support this sort of mathematical reasoning.

The Edmonds School Board approved putting the levy before voters at its Dec. 11 meeting. The 2004 levy that's expiring brought technology into every classroom in the district. Renewing the levy would replace and further build on those advances. The earlier levy also put a lot of laptops and LCD projectors in the homes of petty criminals.

The levy would collect about $31.4 million over four years, with an additional $100,000 in interest. It would expire in 2012.

The deadline for the all-mail ballot special election would be May 20.

In addition to technology, $7.5 million of the $31.4 million would go toward capital facilities projects in safety and emergency preparedness, energy efficiency, systems upgrades and outdoor facilities and partnership programs. In other words, if you think the District is saturated with technology, how can you vote against an opportunity to have more Capital Partnerships?

Editorial: The red portion of this entry came directly from the Enterprise


Anonymous said...

At our school the contractor hired to put in new data lines is being paid by the current Tech Levy. He told us that the existing conduit contains plenty room for the new data lines. He said that when he made Capital Projects aware of this they told him to put in all new conduit as they needed to spend all the money earmarked for this project.

I'm sure others in the district know of similar wastes of tech levy monies. Now is the time and this is the place to let the public know. We need to let the taxpayers know they're being played for chumps, and worst of all they are being manipulated into voting themselves into that position!

Anonymous said...

While even $1 of waste is annoying, having $0 for technology improvement would be a disaster for the students. Yes, you can vote down the tech levy, but is that the best thing to do for them?

It seems to me that while we are examining the use of District resources, we should maintain those resources and limit the waste. Having no money to waste isn't the solution.

On a related issue, taxpayers need to examine the reasoning behind bond requests. I was told by "knowledgeable source" that Alderwood and Meadowdale Middle Schools were in equal need for replacement but Meadowdale was chosen because there had been stronger support for bond issues from the Meadowdale precincts. You may also have noticed that there don't seem to be teachers with signs at key street corners promoting bond elections lately. This is the "stealth" election strategy. Sometimes a heavy "pro" campaign brings out a larger "anti" vote and possibly a failure of the request; go with a low profile campaign and you are more likely to pass it. Hopefully the recent passage of the "simple majority" referendum will change that thinking.

Anonymous said...

Alderwood Middle School will be relocated to the property adjacent to Martha Lake Elementary and the property next to Lowe's will be sold.

With revenues from property sales being lower than expected, you can bet this transaction will move up on the list.

Anonymous said...

After we sell all of our school property to the big box stores and mini-malls, will there still be enough land in the district for actual schools?

Maybe it would just be cheaper to give every student a computer, a web cam, and a high-speed internet connection simply expanding Cyber-School. Then you'd only need a building to house the servers-no administration building or classrooms to clean. (Intended to be an amusing fantasy.) said...

Send the state checks directly to the students, instead of having District administrators gobble up the proceeds.

You may be on to something.

Anonymous said...

To December 20, 2007 8:53:00 PM regarding conduit for new data lines. Here's something to consider:

The project you mention is not funded by levy. It is funded by the 2006 bond. Yes, as with many buildings there is enough room in the current conduit for the cabling being installed. HOWEVER, the project is most likely at a building that will not be rebuilt in the next 10 years AND the new conduit will allow future expansion for any purpose (i.e. power, data, etc) as technology or power needs change. It's far less expensive to put in a little elbow room now than later on.

Finally, the contractor probably expressed his assumption of the motive behind installing the new conduit. In reality, the money earmarked for the data projects has to be stretched across many sites with none to spare. said...

I know the walker ducts in the floor of the ESC are so packed with abandoned wires that a single carpenter ant would struggle to move just a few inches through the duct.

Perhaps they are storing the wire for some higher purpose or just keeping the vermin at bay.

Whether the funding is from a levy or a bond - it is all public money and should be spent responsibly.

Anonymous said...

Whoa. Let's not talk about spare copper wire! The meth users of America are stripping out metals for scrap to pay for their habit. A couple have been found electrocuted inside substations after trying to steal wire and not knowing that some of it is "hot". (Big DUH! there.) There was a life-sized bronze statue of Sacajawea that was stolen recently in Oregon (if memory serves).