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Technology referendum less than a month away
by Chuck Friedbauer
Oct 13, 2011 | 2941 views | 25 25 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Nov. 8, local taxpayers will decide the direction District 112 will take with funding improved technology and technology sys-tems in its various facilities.

The District 112 administration and School Board has proposed a technology capital project levy to raise approximately $1,983,800 each year for the next 10 years, beginning in 2012. The estimated total cost of the projects to be funded over that time pe-riod is approximately $19,838,000. The levy is 3.37 percent times the net tax capacity of the school district.

If approved by voters, the increased funding would provide funds for the acquisition, installation and support of curriculum and improved technology and technology systems in various school district facilities and the purchase of instructional equipment.

According to school district officials, students will benefit from the increased funding by having greater access to personal com-puting devices and being able to work together across classrooms. Teachers would benefit through greater access to resources out-side their classroom and a greater ability to personalize instruction.

If the referendum is not approved by voters, school district officials argue that funding for classroom technology will compete with necessary improvements to items such as building roofs and parking lots. In addition, technology choices for students will become limited, resulting in a limit on curriculum innovation.

Background and supporting information can be found on the school district website at www.district112.org.

The website includes an absentee ballot, tax calculator for residential and commercial property owners, as well as the district 10-year technology plan. Further questions can be directed to the Community Relations department at www.kendalll@district112.org.

Absentee voting has begun. Ballots must be returned to the school’s election office by 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 6. For more information, call (952) 556-6110.

‘VOTE YES’

The Citizens Committee for the Technology Referendum has launched a website to garner support for the Nov. 8 school district referendum.

“Vote Yes District 112” contains information about the proposed $20 million referendum, where the money would go and a list of supporters. Nearly 120 people have already endorsed the campaign on the site. “Vote Yes District 112” also has a corresponding Facebook page.

No organized opposition to the referendum has been reported.


A referendum information night is being held at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 18 at the District Education Center, 11 Peavey Road, Door No. 3.

Comments
(25)
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112 Supporter
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November 07, 2011
Would you want a doctor who cannot read the digital medical records? Would you want a mechanic who cannot use the digital diagnostic equipment built into your car? Would you want an employee who cannot use the software and equipment your competitors are using?

It's time to invest in our future, and technology is a key part of that future.
anonymous
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November 07, 2011
I will vote NO, students can learn without technology!
sb08
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November 04, 2011
Easymoneyjoe clearly is not at all involved in schools or education. I know zero teachers who get out at 2:00 if they started at 8:00. If the teacher is getting done at 2:00, they are starting much earlier in the day. We get 50 minutes for prep-to PREPARE to TEACH, something that we mostly have to do outside of the school day. And seriously, you think we get 1 hour for lunch. Do you even know any teachers? By contract we get 30 minutes, but by the time we get the kids to lunch and deal with behaviors we maybe have 25 minutes to eat. Try 1 week for spring break and 10 days for Christmas, not 10 days and 3 weeks. Seriously, who are you and where are you geting your information. We don't choose our calendar, the district does.

If you are going to write in bashing teachers at least get your facts right. By the way, this is about a referendum for technology, not for teachers' salaries.
Teacher112
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October 25, 2011
I think what we need to remember is that this is about children and their education--today that means technology if we want to compete nationally and internationally. That is the whole point of this (have our students have the technology skills they need to compete)--teachers, prinicpals did not ask for any referemdum, so bringing them into this is not valid.

Anyone who has never been an educator has no idea what the job entails--on paper it looks pretty good, I admit. Myself, I'm at school an hour before it starts, yes I get lunch (never an hour, supposed to be a 1/2 hour-not sure that ever happens), and yes, I get prep time (to prepare the lessons your student gets, make copies, set up modifications for all the special needs students, have meetings with parents and staff, and maybe a grade a few things. I leave school about 45 minutes afterwards--but that means grading usually comes home. I see 174 students--smallest class of 30-largest 38-who all have their own needs--and I need to get them all to learn the material, and try to do it in a way that will give interest.Then, you get to answer all parent emails and phone calls... many of which a high school student should solve him/herself. Many nights and weekends, grading comes home.Don't forget all the evenings you will attend- back to school night, conferences, registration, graduation, etc.

Yes, we do get great vacations, but we cannot take vacation time when we would like-- must fall into summer or a school break pretty much. We also have to get a new license every 5 years--so attend and pay for classes during this "free time."

I am a teacher, and I say the above, because I get tired of constantly being bashed, when I see a dedicated staff of hard working individuals give their heart and soul everyday. I don't drink, nor have I ever been a loose woman. I'm just a teacher who works hard for your children.
why chaska fails
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October 24, 2011
I was at that community forum, and while I still have questions about the district's approach, BornDemocrat isn't telling the full story. There were some people (probably him) there who made the claim he's making, but they couldn't provide a source for their numbers. What the district people said was that there wasn't a technology levy because the district has been building new schools, but that other districts spend more on operations and technology each year. I can find numbers to back that up, so I'm not going to buy a story from someone who can't back up their facts, and gives a different version of the "truth" when online after the fact.

I wanted to know about the actual plan for the money, how it would be used, what was being bought, not whine about how much better looking one school is over another. A lot of what I see on here is people bullying and insulting the schools and the community, without caring about the facts, so they have someone to blame for what's wrong with their town other than themselves. A simple Google search that a 5 year old can do shows that most of easymoneyjoe's "facts" are wrong with the teacher contracts. If you want to make a point (and it might be a good point), at least take the time to get your info right. And the "old man" who talks about alcohol and loose women... that doesn't do anything other than make Chaska look petty and behind the times. Plus, there's something seriously wrong with adults behaving this way online when talking about not giving technology to kids. To me, that says we would be better off taking the computers away from those "adults", and giving them to the kids.

The district has some good ideas, and if they had put out all the information from the beginning, I would have had fewer questions. My point is that I want to see what this can do for my kids, and most of the people on here just want to make sure things fail, if for no other reason than to get even for something in the past. Try running a business with that attitude, and see how far it gets you.
easymoneyjoe
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October 23, 2011


I never called the teachers lazy. School starts at 8:00 and gets out at 2pm. They get a prep hour and an hour lunch. They have all summer off, spring break for 11 days, 3 weeks for christmas, and many other days off during the year for no good reason and get a year round check. I don't feel sorry for them. If its so bad, why do they stay. If they quit 250 other teachers would apply to work in Chaska.
anonymous
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October 22, 2011
the problem with referendums is if you don't pass them they just push it again an again an again untill they get it passed. they don't take NO! for a answer!!!
BornDemocrat
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October 22, 2011
And the comparisons are bogus anyway. Our overall budget is higher per student than 4 out of 5 of the districts listed. When I went to the district's Q&A session they made it clear that they spend a lot on technology every year. They just don't have a special budget for it. It comes from thier capital budget, which any IT project I've worked on in business comes from the capital budget as well. It's working. Why fix what isn't broken?
2 students father
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October 22, 2011
And exactly who did they survey when it was decided that "we" want to be compared with Eden Prairie or Edina? Anyone hear whats going on in EP? Their going to court to stop lower income students from being able to attend at least 1 of the schools? 2011 and we're talking about segregation? Really? I was given that info from the chaska hs principal...was told it was all over facebook...couldn't tell ya if it's true, since I refuse to do the facebook thing.
2 students father
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October 22, 2011
Hawkdancer does make a good point...but most teachers will be voting yes I imagine. These classes shouldn't have more than 25 students in them. Were we not promised smaller class sizes with the addition of a 2nd high school? And not all teachers are there 10 hours a day. How many teachers tell their students to go home and print off the notes or assignment off their home comp? These things should be provided at school..what about kids without access to the internet, or no printer? The teachers shouldn't have a budget for printing off assignments at the school--They shouldn't have to pay for going over it for job related prints. They too need to stand up to the principle and the school board...and the superintendent. Who by the way came from a district where they charge $50 per semester for a parking pass with a 10% discount if purchased together, but our district wants $250 for the year.Who also so proudly proclaimed that on the 1st day of school he made to every school..for 30 to 40 minutes..what exactly does he get done at any of those schools in that amount of time? you can't even walk the whole school in that amount of time. So he made an appearance? Like royalty? Anyway...what exactly is this money needed for? going to upgrade the phones again? Computers? Where are they being bought, and for how much each? The school board needs to look around for better deals on all their tech stuff...from comps to hard/software to licensing fees they pay to use them. Bill Gates has donated over a billion to education...Plus the marketing alone that Dell or Compaq or Hp get from having their products in the schools. What I'm saying is they need to look long and hard at what and who they are paying for these products. I'd really like to see a detailed account of what they want to buy and 1 of the entire budget.
hawkdancer
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October 22, 2011
These teachers that you are talking about work 10 hour days and take work home all the time--so please dont' call them lazy. They are at school helpeing students way before the sun comes up. The teachers DID NOT ask for a referendum. With class sizes around 40, your high school teachers are seeing around 180 students each day--some of which are coming into high school without basic skills needed. Yet, they are supposed to be able to get everyone to college. If anyone thinks this is an easy job, please come and do it--it is the most pressure filled job ever.
enough is enough
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October 18, 2011
Vote no
essymoneyjoe
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October 17, 2011
Yea jules Im tired of all of these breaks too. I expect some of this money may supplement some of thier long breaks. Im voting no for sure now. good point. What will they do for Chrismas this year, 3 weeks? We pay these people to take more time off than to work and now they want more money. They must think we are dummer than they already think we are. When are the vote NO yard signs going to be ready. I want a whole case!!
Juleslikeswine
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October 17, 2011
Here is a question. Why is the school knocking off for three days this week? Is is national do nothing week? Are the teachers getting paid for not working this week. Are they there while the kids are gone or goofing off with the youngsters. I know its the convention week, but I have not met one teacher that goes to it. Why don't they just have school and get out earlier in june. Don't say the kids need a break, they just went back to school a month ago.
teckadelic
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October 17, 2011
If the levy is not passed there will be no curriculum innovation? The curriculum is rarely innovated. Teachers don't like change. High school is not college.

There is still no answer on what equipment the money will buy and who will get that equipment and how will it be used. Parents already buy computers for their kids. Its staff that gets tax funded computers. The higher up the staff person, the more taxpayer funded perks they get.

They want 10 years of money & say they have a 3 year plan but only outline 2 years of vague stuff in the latest newsletter. The board takes advice from staff.
TheRobotsAreComing
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October 14, 2011
@old man chaska. Please disconnect your web tv now.
old man in town
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October 14, 2011
I hope all of the old people in town go out to vote no that day. We all live on fixed incomes and the school wastes money all the time. How many paid conventions with drinking and loose women do the higher ups attend on our dime? They could cut that out first and buy thier own drinks in town. Spend time with your family instead of running around the state acting like college kids!! No is my vote and anyone else I hope to talk into it.
@pjourdan
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October 14, 2011
You are correct. They also are not paying increased taxes on a High School that was built on false promises to the community. We were told Chaska and Chanhassen High School would remain equal. That could not be further then the truth. I believe more people should become involved in our district and schools to see it first hand. Talk to staff. Sad we are making terrible choices on the backs of our youth and our future leaders. I don't believe anyone in our community is against supporting education. Citizens are tired of being misrepresented and seeing wasteful spending. Bottom line. The future of our country suffers because of poor ADULT choices. Ironic isn't it? We tell our youth to make good choices however, the adults who over see their education don't lead by example. Very sad!
Juleslikeswine
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October 14, 2011
I don't care if they have a weekly freak show to raise money as long as the taxpayers don't have to pay any more money. They are not going to get anywhere near the votes they need. Everyone I have spokent to on this issue says they will vote no. I know of a few people that signed up on the website that said "yes" and are still voting no. School Dist wake up. No one trusts you or thinks you know what you are doing. More money for fat cats does not slove the problem.
pjourdan
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October 14, 2011
Minnetonka may accept corporate sponsors, but they also have a $624/pupil technology referendum in place. District 112 is presently at $0.

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