2010 Technology Levy: Technology Equality for Federal Way’s Next Generation

Reading, writing, math - and technology.

Today, our students need to learn the basics more than ever.

But today’s basics include skills and knowledge largely unheard of 10 or 20 years ago, thanks to the technology revolution. Our graduates are no longer asked by prospective employers if they can use a computer, they are asked how many programs they are proficient in.

Our students’ world will continue to change rapidly. With a strong foundation in today’s technology, they will be better prepared to learn and adapt to the innovations the future holds in store for them.

Current tech levy has accomplished its goals.

In 2005, the district’s first-ever technology levy dollars were put to work, following a well-thought out strategy of how to use the funds to benefit all students. The first goal was to create a robust infrastructure, including upgrading servers and installing fiber-optic wiring district-wide. Another goal was to improve the then 12:1 student to computer ratio to the target of 8:1 by 2010. Funds were allocated to establish an upgrade cycle to ensure computers stayed up-to-date, by replacing approximately 20% of the district’s oldest computers yearly.

All of these goals were achieved and even exceeded. For example, our student to computer ratio district wide is closer to is 5:1 or less, thanks to creative use of older computers for specific tasks.

Why do we need this levy now?

Because the current levy expires in 2010, a replacement levy is now being requested. The proposed measure will ensure that Federal Way students have a level playing field when competing with students around the state, across the nation and in our global community.

With this levy, the district will continue the upgrade cycle for aging computers.  It’s important for computers to be reliable and capable of running/supporting new technologies as they come along. 

Technology funding is a local proposition.

The state does not fund technology, even though it requires that schools provide technology education. This is because the definition of educational basics was developed in the 1970’s, before PCs, cell phones, PalmPilots and mp3 players were created.

With state budget cuts at a historic high, there is no way to fund technology without impacting other instructional programs. The district has only one option for funding technology education and upgrades: a locally-approved levy.

The 2010 technology levy will not increase your taxes.

The proposed levy has been structured to keep the taxpayers’ contributions to schools level through the next six years.

  What will the levy cost us? What will it get us?
Years
1 - 2
  • The average homeowner will pay the same amount as he/she has for the past six years under the current levy.
  • A total of $1.8 million will be collected yearly.
  • This is equal to around $31 per year for the average homeowner.

The district will be able to:

  • Sustain our existing infrastructure
  • Maintain the 20% upgrade cycle for district computers
  • Train staff to take full advantage of recently added technologies and prepare them for success with emerging technologies
  • Allow limited pilot initiatives and evaluation of emerging technologies.
Years
3 - 6
  • The amount collected for the tech levy will increase to around $4.4 million yearly.
  • This will equal about $75 per year for the average residence.
  • This cost will be offset by a reduction in Construction Bond measure collections.

The district will be able to:

  • Sustain our existing infrastructure while adding capacity like expanding wireless coverage and increasing data storage
  • Allow limited pilot initiatives and evaluation of continually emerging technologies
  • Deploy and support implementation of proven successful pilots 
  • Allow the district to move towards realizing the goal of one computing device for  every student, such as mobile electronic devices.

 

Estimated individual homeowner’s contribution to construction bond and tech levy by year:

Year  Est. Tech Est. Bond Total
2011 $ 30.73 $352.71 $383.44
2012 $ 30.73 $352.71 $383.44
2013 $ 74.98 $308.46 $383.44
2014 $ 74.98 $308.46 $383.44
2015 $ 74.98 $308.46 $383.44
2016 $ 74.98 $308.46 $383.44

Board Presentation Videos and Materials

Date Video Materials
January 26, 2010 January 26, 2010 School Board Technology Levy Presentation January 26, 2010 Technology Presentation - Board Presentation Materials
January 12, 2010 January 12, 2010 School Board Technology Levy Presentation January 12, 2010 Technology Presentation - Board Presentation Materials
November 24, 2009 November 24, 2009 School Board Technology Levy Presentation November 24, 2009 Technology Presentation - Board Presentation Materials
November 10, 2009 November 10, 2009 School Board Technology Levy Presentation November 10, 2009 Technology Presentation - Board Presentation Materials
October 27, 2009 October 27, 2009 School Board Technology Levy Presentation October 27, 2009 Technology Presentation - Board Presentation Materials
October 13, 2009 October 13, 2009 School Board Technology Levy Presentation October 13, 2009 Technology Presentation - Board Presentation Materials
June 23, 2009 June 23, 2009 School Board Technology Levy Presentation June 23, 2009 Technology Presentation - Board Presentation Materials
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