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Yes On School Levy

Editorial for April 10, 2008

Yes on school levy

Voters within the White Salmon Valley School District now have their ballots for the school district's capital projects levy election. Ballots are due back to election officials by April 22.

If approved, the measure would raise, over a three- year period, about 16 cent per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The funds would go to "purchase and install computer systems and technological systems and related infrastructure."

We live in a computer era, and our world is becoming ever-more dependent on computers, technology, and electronics. The technology is evolving rapidly, and students deserve to learn on relatively modern equipment. When it comes to computers, working with something even five or six years old often means you're working with equipment that is essentially obsolete.

At both Henkle Middle School and Columbia High School, the computers used by students are between four and eight years old, with about one-third of them (106 out of a total of 302 computers) between six and eight years old.

At Whitson Elementary School, 86 of the computers are eight years old, while only 14 computers are relatively modern, between two and four years old.

The state of Washington defines "standards-based computers" as computers that are four years old or newer. That means our schools are using computers that do not meet technological standards. That hurts our young peoples' ability to compete with students in other school districts.

Jerry Lewis, district technology coordinator for Columbia High School, explained that having up to date computer equipment to train on is vital.

"The reality is that much of the available district technology for teacher instruction and student learning is now outdated and in need of replacement. Moving to the next generation of computer operating systems and software programs will require new computers with greater processing speed, memory, video, and hard drive capacity. Our current computers cannot be upgraded to meet these requirements."

Lewis is right, and our children deserve to have the tools and equipment they need to maximize their education.

Please vote "Yes" on the White Salmon technology levy.

JB

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