School Brief | Five teaching positions to be restored by MISD

A generous contribution by the Mercer Island Schools Foundation has allowed Mercer Island School District Superintendent Gary Plano to restore five teaching positions that were slated to be cut next year.

MISF Executive Director Penny Yantis presented a $430,000 check made out to the Mercer Island School District during a June 18 School Board meeting. The check is the result of a communitywide fundraising effort to “bridge the gap” between current year funding and next year’s $2 million deficit.

The funds were raised at the MISF Breakfast of Champions in April 2009 and through the efforts of the PTAs in each school.

“This has been a tremendous communitywide effort and a huge show of support for MI schools,” Yantis said.

Plano said the funds would be immediately applied to a budget restoration program for all the district’s schools, thus saving five teaching jobs. Contributions for budget restoration will be accepted until July 31, 2009.

The MISF also announced a $537,400 target in new funding priorities for the next fiscal year. Nearly $200,000 is for the new K-5 math curriculum, Math Expressions. Other priorities include Enrichment grants and a new 2020 Vision Investment Fund, as well as support for fine arts, science and National Board Certification for teachers, and programs to promote citizenship in students. An autumn Phone-a-Thon is planned to raise funds.

Both Board President Janet Frohnmayer and Superintendent Plano expressed appreciation for the support of the MISF and the PTA groups across Mercer Island.

“In the worst budget scenario in 30 years, our community has really stepped up to support teachers and students. We can never thank you enough.”

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