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No surprises here in final state education budget

After swearing in the newest member of the Mercer Island School District Board of Directors, Brian Emanuels, at the Board meeting on May 26, Dean Mack, the district’s budget director, spoke about the Legislature’s final compromise regarding school funding at the end of the 2011 Special Session.

Despite the inevitable cuts, the effect on school funding here was within the range already anticipated by Mercer Island School District financial planners.

The most significant cuts are in the areas of salary reductions and the elimination of funding for additional staff to reduce class sizes in grades K through 4, Mack told the board. Lawmakers also reduced funding for salaries by 1.9 percent for staff and three percent for administrators.

“The school district should be alright,” said Mack. “Through a combination of funding through the Mercer Island Schools Foundation and our stewardship of fund balance, the district will continue to address the issues of class size and staff workload as planned.”

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