Letters to the Editor

Basic math and the tech levy | Federal Way letters

The process of delivering a technology education to the students to go out of the school door “computer and software literate and job ready” takes an enormous effort.

The proposed levy, in raw revenue dollars produced, appears not to meet the funding for the level of results that the Federal Way School District's description of desired results pleads. Possible false advertising?

To get up to the levels of a great modern technology education that the levy is looking at producing, it could take an investment of over $1,500 per student just for the hardware and infrastructure. Toss on top of that another $500 to $1,500 per student for current version software, and you get to the minimum performance level that the levy eludes to producing. That totals an approximate cash need of around $3,000 per student. Really serious students could each have upwards of $5,000 worth of software.

The $1.8 million of levy revenue of the first year income only provides about $82 per student (about 22,000 current enrollment, using OSPI 2008 numbers) for hardware, infrastructure and software. Who are the miracle workers that are able to use the $82 per student and produce the meaningful across-the-school-district technology results?

Have the proponents failed the basic math needs for this technology levy?

• Year 1: $1.8 million

• Year 2: $1.8 million

• Year 3: $4.4 million

• Year 4: $4.4 million

• Year 5: $4.4 million

• Year 6: $4.4 million

• Total: $21.2 million. The total is approximately $964 per each student at the end of six years.

With the current Federal Way School District level of students at approximately 22,000 (using OSPI 2008 numbers), the budget for a meaningful outcome for the student needs to be somewhere in the area of $66 million to produce the state of the art computer plus software “ready to go to work graduate.” How and where is the additional $44.6 million coming from?

All you have to do is look at the Ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff. He promised more return than what the entire cash flow of the options market could produce.

This FW Ponzi scheme appears to be very similar because of the low cash flow. It does not produce enough cash to deliver the goods.

Even with the entire total 2010-2016 levy cash flow in one lump, the levy proponents are not close to producing the expectation.

Bill Balzarini, Auburn

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