BISD's technology levy draft budget pushes integration

BISD's preliminary draft budget identifies four goal areas.
— image credit: Bill Asher/Bainbridge Review

With interest in putting a program and operations levy lift and a reduced technology levy to voters in November, the Bainbridge Island School District has drafted a preliminary budget proposal for its tech levy renewal. The district’s current $6.1 million technology levy, which expires at the end of 2010, would decrease to $5.2 million to accommodate the $825,000 levy lid lift.

The draft proposal, presented at the district’s June 30 meeting, identified four goal areas where the levy dollars would be allocated: classroom implementation, technology skills proficiency, communication and operations, and infrastructure.

Classroom implementation would constitute 52.3 percent, or $2.7 million of the total levy request. Of that $2.7 million, $1.2 million would be used for classroom presentation areas, which are composed of computers, LCD projectors, document cameras and interactive whiteboards. The funds would provide for the installation, upgrade or replacement of the stations up to district standards. The 2006 levy equipped all classrooms with presentation stations.

“In many of the cases a high percentage of the technology levy is really devoted to curriculum,” Supt. Faith Chapel said at the meeting. “The classroom integration piece is most critical.”

Classroom implementation funds would also replace computers for general classroom use, upgrade software for a range of subject areas such as math, science and language arts, and replace library workstations.

Funding of infrastructure, which would make up 30 percent of the levy request, would address the needs of the network system, which includes cabling, wiring and servers.

“So much is upgraded and replaced and upgraded and replaced,” board President Patty Fielding said at the June 30 meeting. “This is just to keep our heads above water.”

The proposal also includes $686,500 for communications and district operations such as telephone and email systems, school and district operations and student grade reporting systems.

Nearly $175,000 would fund technology skills and proficiency, which provide annual, ongoing training for district administrators staff and students.

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