School briefs: Governor proposes tax changes to raise for schools

Governor proposes tax changes to raise money for schools

Gov. Jay Inslee’s call to raise money for schools by closing tax breaks put the education funding debate back to lawmakers last week.

Inslee’s plan to generate $200 million in new taxes by eliminating or revising seven exemptions is a slimmed-down version of the billion-dollar plus tax package rejected by the Senate a year ago.

Republicans say lawmakers put roughly $1 billion additional dollars into schools in 2013 and can wait to make another hefty investment in 2015.

Inslee didn’t seem concerned about the prospect of another defeat when he announced his idea.

He spoke of the need to fill the “gas tank of reform” and satisfy the Supreme Court’s demand for “concrete action” to fully fund basic education of 1 million students.

For more, go to

Sen. Patty Murray sponsors ‘College Affordability Act’

Last week, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) to introduce the College Affordability and Innovation Act of 2014, new legislation to make college more affordable for students across the United States.

According to Murray, the cost of college has increased by 300 percent over the last 30 years. Student loan debt is now the highest form of personal debt in the nation, reaching over $1.1 trillion for 38 million student loan borrowers across the country.

“I’ve heard from too many students in Washington state who are struggling with student loan debt, and even worse, from others who are hesitant to go to college because the costs are simply too high,” said Murray.

“In the short term, this legislation incentivizes institutions to innovate to reduce costs, and over the long term, it will give students the opportunities and resources they need to make smart decisions on higher education.”

Five to compete for aerospace scholars program

Five Mercer Island High School juniors have been selected to compete with 308 other students from across Washington state for one of 160, six-day summer residencies at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Alexander Eriksson, Luis Gonzalez, Alexander Hoffman, Anthony Pedreira and Ian Platou will be participating in the first phase of the Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) program.

The WAS program is a free and competitive science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program for Washington state high school juniors.

“Getting students interested in STEM programs – and aerospace in particular – has really become a regional priority when you consider our largest local employers,” said Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano. “This is a great way for these five students to get hands-on experience that can impact their careers after graduation.”

2014 Stanley Ann Dunham scholarship now open

Application forms for the 2014 Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship are now available at the counseling office at Mercer Island High School and online at

Dunham, the mother of President Barack Obama, was a 1960 graduate of Mercer Island High School and a lifelong learner who strongly believed in economic and social equality for people around the world —especially women. After earning a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Hawaii, she devoted her life to helping villagers in Indonesia develop self-sustaining economic programs.

The scholarship was established in 2010 by a group of Mercer Islanders and former schoolmates to honor her memory.

A $5,000 college scholarship will be awarded to a female student currently enrolled in the senior class at MIHS who demonstrates a passion and commitment to the values and goals embodied in the life and work of Stanley Ann Dunham.

Applications materials must be submitted by mail and received by February 28.

The winner will be announced in May.

Student starts new sailing club at high school

Mercer Island High School student Megan Skene, a junior member of the Seattle Yacht Club, is looking for sailors.

Skene who is also the Junior Rear Commodore and Race Team member, is currently recruiting for a new sailing club at Mercer Island High School through the Seattle Yacht Club’s spring high school sailing program.

No experience necessary.

For more, go to the Seattle yacht club web site: or call coach Cameron Hoard at (206) 325-1000.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates