Extra Bridge the Gap money will help teachers

The Mercer Island School District’s Bridge the Gap fundraising campaign may earn $200,000 in excess of the $500,000 budget shortfall that it aimed to fill. With record donations raised during April’s Breakfast of Champions fundraiser, the Schools Foundation- and PTA-led initiative has already earned $556,000. A group of “challenge donors” has promised that, if 50 percent of MISD parents participate in the campaign, they will put in an additional $170,000. If this money is collected, the district will be $200,000 beyond its budget shortfall of $500,000.

Superintendent Gary Plano said that the extra money would go toward putting teachers back into the classroom.

“We’d use this to add staff at each of the district’s three levels, [elementary, middle and high school],” he said.

According to Schools Foundation Executive Director Penny Yantis, the district needs 300 more parents to donate to the campaign in order to earn the $170,000 challenge money. The deadline to participate is June 1.

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