Mercer Island schools to host budget information session Feb. 23

The Mercer Island School District board of directors will host a budget information session at Islander Middle School on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in the school's multipurpose room.

The meeting is to begin the conversation with Island resident about how the school district can continue to meet the needs of students during what is likely to be another year of budget cuts.

"We'll be picking up on conversations in Olympia," said Dean Mack, the district's executive director of business services. "How it will all play out we're not sure." He added the House budget is expected to be released prior to the Feb. 23 meeting, so the district will be able to use the most up to date projections. Last year the district dealt with approximately $1.5 million in budget cuts, and it's possible the district will be facing large cuts from the state again this year.

Following the community meeting, the district will use the concerns and priorities heard from those who attend to formulate a survey, with the results being presented to the board sometime in early March. Based on an outline provided by Mack, he hopes to have a preliminary budget completed in April.

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