Saturday, May 10, 2008

The problem with the Edmonds Tech Levy

Dear Editor:

As anyone in Snohomish County would naturally conclude, dedicating public funds for the support of educational issues is a great thing. But what would happen if only 20 cents of each dollar committed actually went to support the cause? What if 80 cents of each dollar went toward the administrative costs in tracking the 20 cents? Would the dollar be well spent?

Like many people in the Edmonds School District, I believe that technological support for educators and students is an important aspect of public education. In an ideal world, every classroom would have all of the technological enhancements needed to accomplish organizational objectives. But how foolish would it be for the public to pass a levy that points money in the right direction but is quickly depleted by mismanagement before it gets to the destination?

It is clear when reviewing the monumentally foolish decisions in recent months and years that this school district is out of touch with the value of money. They pay far too much for far too little and waste public assistance like they have the authority to do so.

Having worked inside the District for more than six years, I can attest to the obscene amount of waste that has been happening over the years. Contaminated property was purchased in 2005 for nearly twice the actual value. Business has been diverted to enrich the friends of management. Board policies are routinely ignored when it suits the board and management. There is a lengthy history of financial mismanagement and no one seems to think it matters.

While I would love to vote in favor of the Tech Levy, I would have greater faith in handing cash to students rather than continue to feed corruption.

Mark Zandberg

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don’t know about how other taxpayers feel but for myself I am tired of funding education its not my job but the Feds and State. I pay for education every time I purchase something and when I pay the property taxes each year. I believe the law says that Public Education is to be fully funded by the government. We are not funding education as it was in the 1930’s, 1940’s or 2000 we need funding for the 2008 and beyond. The students need to keep up with technology we are not purchasing inkwells and pens we need funding for computers and many other high-level technology equipment. Teachers must keep up with all the new technology but the state doesn’t fund it. The funding needs to change so when one pot has excess it can then be used to fund something that is going in the negative. I am tired of hearing about all the different pots of money in the district and how they can’t be intermingled with other funds when it all should be available for the students needs no matter where the need is or which pot the money comes from. The state needs to fully fund the salaries of support staff and pay them for the job they do each day.

We are being taxed out of our homes, is that the goal to hit the older generation so they cannot afford to keep their homes? I for one will not be voting for the tech levy in my district because the state needs and should step up to the plate and start NOW to fully fund Public Education for our students. And the district needs to become very good financial steward of the money they receive for education. Don’t buy land for a new administration building when student enrollment is declining. When I have less money coming into my household budget I make cuts to things I can live without the district has known since 2001 that the enrollment in our district was declining they continued to live high off the hog. The district needs to make cuts at the top. We are too top heavy with Assist. Supt. They may be taking on extra work but so will everyone else. Our titles won't change and our salary won't change. Lets cut the salary of the Supt. and bring it enline with other districts in the state just like all other bargaining groups. Believe me Supt. in other large districts are not making $200,000 salary annually. I wouldn't want to leave the district either if I could make that kind of money and lead our district into the red and still get to keep my job. Supt. said he would not leave the district in the financial bind it is in now for someone else to clean up his mess like the Supt. did in Shoreline. The Supt. also said he would not give up any of his salary to help with the budget.

Please VOTE NO on May 20th.