Seattle construction levy may include wireless Internet for all schools
A nearly $11.5 million proposal to fund wireless Internet in Seattle schools could be included in a levy expected to go before voters in February.
Seattle Times education reporter
Seattle school officials are preparing to ask voters for nearly $11.5 million to put wireless Internet in all of the city's public schools.
The request would come as part of the school district's next construction levy, which is expected to go before voters in February.
In total, the six-year levy is expected to include about $700 million worth of projects, representing a property-tax increase of about $100 for the average homeowner.
Currently, only a handful of schools have structured wireless services, while others have more informal networks, according to Susan Wright, director of the district's Department of Technology Services.
The plan is not finalized but has strong support from the Seattle School Board, Vice President Kay Smith-Blum said.
"The board is completely and totally and unanimously united around the fact that we need wireless," Smith-Blum said.
"That opens up a plethora of teaching and learning opportunities that we haven't been able to offer our students," she said.
The schools in the Anaheim (Calif.) City School District, where incoming Seattle Superintendent José Banda currently works, have wireless.
The $11.5 million estimated cost includes other needed network upgrades, Wright said.
The district is trying to offset more than $2 million of the cost with a grant through the Federal Communications Commission.
Brian M. Rosenthal: 206-464-3195 or email@example.com. On Twitter @brianmrosenthal.