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The Geyser

School board approves high school technology levy to go on May ballot

Kate Lende
Haiden Sunderlin borrows a laptop from student librarian Isaac Hauser on March 7. Park High does not have enough laptops to assign one to every student, so they are encouraged to bring their own devices.

The Livingston School Board approved a levy request for the high school district that equates to $185,000 for purchasing and maintaining computer hardware and software, storage, security and other technology-related expenses in fiscal year 2025.  Voters in the high school district will either approve or deny the levy request in May.  This will be in addition to the current perpetual technology levy for $100,000 which has existed for over 20 years, district personnel explained at the school board meeting March 6.

Due to inflation, the district has lost over 1.1 million in purchasing power since the original levy was set, according to Superintendent Chad Johnson.  The current levy does not adjust for inflation, so $100,000 doesn’t buy as much as it once did.

Many computers in the district are outdated and in need of replacement, Johnson said to the school board.  Technology Integration Specialist Sarah Dahl explained that the high school has a “bring your own device” policy for high school students because there are not enough Chromebooks to provide one for everyone.

I.T. Director Harley Jordan also mentioned that cyber security has become an increased concern and expense and is required for liability insurance coverage.

Johnson said the school district plans to get more information to voters before April 17 when ballots are mailed to absentee voters.  Voter approval of the 10-year levy would increase annual taxes on a home with a market value of $100,000 by $3.63, by $10.89 for a $300,000 home, and by $21.78 for a home valued at $600,000.

The school board also approved a technology levy for the same amount for the elementary district, and it will appear on the May ballot alongside the high school levy.

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