In February, Mercer Island voters will be asked to vote on two school ballot measures. The public is invited to community forums to learn about a school bond that will fix school overcrowding and a renewal of the school district's operating levy that funds teachers. The forums, sponsored by a citizen-led campaign supporting the measures, are an opportunity to get information about the proposals and ask questions with the campaign volunteers. Both forums will be held at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center.
• 7 p.m., Tuesday, November 12
• 9:30 a.m., Thursday, November 14
Mercer Island has great schools but they are severely overcrowded and projections show the district will experience increasing enrollment for the foreseeable future.
This year more than 700 students are in 34 portable classrooms. Overcrowded schools are impacting students' education: common areas are crowded and over scheduled; play space is constricted by portables; lunch times are compressed; and special events are congested.
The bond will build a new elementary school and expand the middle and high schools – every school will benefit by getting more space. In developing the bond, the school board listened to community feedback and acted: the cost is half the previous bond; it’s focused on fixing overcrowding; and it maintains and leverages the past improvements that were made to our schools.
The four-year levy is a renewal levy for the one that was passed overwhelmingly by voters on Mercer Island in 2010. It funds 26 percent of our district general fund for educational programs and services, including nearly 100 teachers and staff.
For more information: www.fixovercrowding.com