Students in Lake Stevens’ schools have always been able to count on the community to support them in their education and with the passing of both the Maintenance and Operations levy and the Technology levy earlier in the month, students within our school district have received the support of voters.
For the last 29 years, voters within the Lake Stevens School District have always voted to pass all levies and bonds brought before them and this year was no different with the maintenance and operations levy passing by over 59 percent and the technology levy passing with over 57 percent. The election was certified yesterday. The technology levy is a four-year levy which will collect $1.5 million per year from property taxpayers. Thirty percent of the money will go towards hardware standardization and replacement, 10 percent will be used on emerging technology, 30 percent on infrastructure replacement and 30 percent on staff development.
“Lake Stevens students will have multiple opportunities to develop technological literacy beginning in Elementary schools throughout their high school years,” Superintendent Dr. David Burgess said. With the implementation of the technology levy funds, schools will have the ability to teach students how to stay competitive in a technologically fast-paced world.
“Technological literacy is far more than the ability to use technological tools. Technologically literate students will employ systems-oriented thinking as they interact with the technological world, cognizant of how such interaction affects individuals, our community, and the world,” Burgess said. “Technological literacy will give Lake Stevens students the ability to use, manage, assess, and understand technology. It involves knowledge, abilities, and the application of both knowledge and abilities to real-world situations.”
Monies will begin to be collected in 2011. Until that time a committee has been set-up to implement a plan which includes several steps.
“The Technology Committee will implement a plan to standardized technology equipment and software across classrooms, develop a five year computer replacement schedule, develop and implement a plan for fiber optics communication within the district and plan for collaboration with city and government agencies for fiber optic access as it becomes available in the future,” Community Relations Director for the Lake Stevens School District Arlene Hulten said. “All of this means better access for students to the technology that they need to learn in today’s academic environment.” The passing of the Maintenance and Operations levy is critical with future cuts to education from the state level. The new levy provides 82 percent of the money for teacher instruction and support, 11 percent to student transportation, four percent to student athletics and activities and one percent each to technology licensing, pool and community, maintenance and facilities.
“The levies provide for a dependable source of funding that will support improved technology, teacher salaries, student transportation, athletics and activities, and maintenance of all facilities,” Hulten said. “These are all integral components to student learning and four year implementation plans can be thoughtfully developed and implemented. Additionally, knowing that there will be additional cuts to education from the state, this local funding becomes even more critical in providing for the day-to-day operations of our schools.”
Schools cannot be successful without the support of the community in which they are established and the district understands the responsibility of fulfilling the community’s expectations.
“As superintendent, I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to ensure that resources are used wisely and equitably for the benefit of each child. I am convinced that our children must be technologically literate to compete in our global economy and I will not rest until we reach that goal,” Burgess said.
“This support is immensely appreciated and never taken for granted; it is the district’s goal to earn this support in our work with students every day,” Hulten stated.