We know that technology helps keep schools safe, teachers teach, students learn, and improves our future. All schools require funds for new security and instructional devices and upgrades, training and support, maintaining infrastructure, and sustaining current technology. The problem is that current per-pupil funding for students in public schools is even lower than it was back in 2007 ($7,085 in 2006-07 and $7,026 in 2013-14*).
Meanwhile, school leaders have been told not to expect more funding from the state in coming years. That is why all local school boards of education have formally asked the MAISD to request a technology and security enhancement millage. This type of millage allows each district to meet their differing needs by determining how they will use the funds for their respective students and classrooms. It also requires the MAISD to send every cent collected directly back to neighborhood schools.
Voters in Muskegon County will have the opportunity to support a Technology and Security Enhancement Millage of one mill for a ten-year period on February 25, 2014. (Absentee voters will vote as early as January 11!) One mill equates to a $41 increase for the average homeowner in the county that would generate $161 per student each year.
Clearly, there is an urgent need to prepare our children for the many technical jobs they will have in coming years. One statistic indicates 85% of the jobs that today’s kindergartners will be working in have not yet been created, or even thought of yet. Those jobs will require our students to have superior technical skills.
Please take the time to learn more about this effort to fund technology and security in our schools and be sure to tell others. Visit www.technology4students.org to view a five-minute video, infographic, and other helpful information. Become informed and remember to vote on February 25, 2014.
David L. Sipka
*Source: House Fiscal Agency – Michigan House of Representatives
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