School tech levy to come before voters

Islanders will vote on a school levy proposal in November, after the school board voted last week to place a maintenance and technology measure on the ballot. The three-year levy would bring in $2.7 million for the school district and is expected to cost property owners 34 cents per $1,000 of assessed value each year.

If passed, the levy would enable Vashon Island School District to keep abreast with its maintenance and technological needs, areas officials admit may lag when they are inadequately funded.

Levy dollars would allow the district to hire additional maintenance staff, pay salaries of existing technology support staff, purchase maintenance equipment and network infrastructure equipment and pay for teachers to receive training on using technology in the classroom, said school board chair Bob Hennessey.

Currently, maintenance is paid for out of the general fund, the same pot of money that pays for teacher salaries and curriculum materials. But specifically marking levy funds for maintenance could take some pressure off the district’s general fund, Hennessey said.

“The technology piece is part of a sustained commitment that we have to technology infrastructure and staff,” Hennessey said, adding that the levy would pay to keep teachers trained on the latest technology available to them.

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