We respect our Olympia School District staff and administrators, but the proposed levy needs to be denied. We both typically support levies. We hope it can be reworked and voted on before the next tax year.
It is overkill to provide every student a computer. Ten thousand students is 9,000 computers, then more each year. Text books will give way to technology. Every student deserves equal access to the resources involved. However, 60-70 percent of our students don’t need to be provided a device. Many already have a device that works fine. How about the savings in text book expense and the real cost if fewer devices need to be provided free to some students?
Stating “this is not a new levy” is not fully informative. The expiring levy rate is 30 cents per $1,000 in property value, yielding $2 million each year. This levy proposes 87 cents to yield $8 million each year. It may not be “new” in title, but it is clearly (four times) “more” in taxes. Some might view this approach as a money grab.
One more caution please. Those many students already using computers must not be forced to abandon what they have. The computer program needs to be fully usable on all devices and not potentially be limited to the units proposed. This event needs to be about expanding choices not limiting them.
Finally, it would seem much, much wiser to not tether the more critical safety issues to tech issues. We vote “no,” but please do it over to deserve “yes.”