Mercer Island School Board votes to place levy on February 2018 ballot

  • Friday, October 27, 2017 2:47pm
  • News

The Mercer Island School Board has unanimously approved an educational maintenance and operations levy proposition to be put to voters on the Feb. 13, 2018 special election ballot. The four-year levy replaces the one that was passed by Mercer Island voters in 2014.

“This replacement levy is essential to maintaining the high quality of Mercer Island schools, a key reason people move to the Island,” stated Board President David D’Souza. “The Mercer Island community has consistently shown how it values education through the approval of maintenance and operations levies and the School Board very much appreciates their continued support.”

If approved with a simple majority, the replacement levy would collect between $11.75 million and $12.75 million per year from 2019 to 2022 for educational programs and services, according to a news release from the district.

It funds 26 percent of the Mercer Island School District general fund, including 58 percent of special education funding.

Under a new law passed by the Legislature this year, use of local levy dollars are limited to enrichments — those programs, activities and staffing beyond the basic state apportionment that are funded through local efforts, which includes the levy, Foundation, PTA and other grants, donations and contributions.

At its Oct. 26 meeting, School Board members noted that though the state said it has fully funded education to comply with the McCleary decision, local levy funds are needed to fund programs beyond what is considered “basic education.”

With local funds the district has accomplished much to enrich the student experience on Mercer Island, including:

• establishing a seven-period day at the high school;

• Elementary K-5 music, Art, PE and Spanish.

• expanded electives at MIHS and IMS, including upper level science courses beyond the traditional one-year sequences and classes not normally available to students, such as the radio station at the high school;

• smaller class sizes for focused sections for struggling students or in specific areas;

• ongoing professional development opportunities for staff;

• stipends for staff to offer additional opportunities for students, including after-school clubs and activities at all grade levels;

• enhanced library collections;

• and classified support in classrooms with overloads, additional special education or English Language Learners, as well as student supervision and safety.

Ballots will be mailed Jan. 24, 2018 to all registered voters on Mercer Island. They must be returned by Feb. 13. A drop box is available at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center. If you are not registered to vote, you may do so online at vote.wa.gov.

The complete text of Replacement Educational Maintenance and Operations levy resolution is available on the district’s website.

More in News

Dane Scarimbolo and Dominique Torgerson run Four Horsemen Brewery in Kent. They were almost shut down in late 2017 by King County, which after years of letting them operate a brewery and taproom, decided they were in violation of county code. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Proposed winery ordinance irks King County farmers, neighbors and businesses

Concerns include more traffic, higher land prices, code enforcement and compliance.

Balducci runs against Hirt for District 6 county council seat

The former Bellevue mayor is essentially running unopposed.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee after speaking with reporters Aug. 22 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Lawmakers to governor: How dare you mess with our budget!

They want Jay Inslee to halt his planned $175 million reallocation of state transportation dollars.

“We are one,” King County Sheriff Mitzi G. Johanknecht said in regard to the recent teen deaths due to fentanyl overdose. Left: Sammamish mayor Christie Malchow, King County Sheriff Mitzi G. Johanknecht and Sammamish Police Chief Michelle Bennett. Madison Miller / staff photo
Two Skyline High School students die from fentanyl overdose

The Sammamish police department, city of Sammamish, school districts join forces to prevent future teen fentanyl deaths.

Coming down to the wire: Student MMR vaccine deadline approaches

Students have limited time to show compliance with new MMR vaccination law before being barred from school.

Bellevue is the most expensive place in the region to rent an apartment, according to a new analysis. Courtesy photo
Several Eastside cities are among most expensive to rent in Northwest

Bellevue topped the list for highest apartment rents during the first half of 2019.

Wendy Weiker and Jon Hanlon
Weiker and Hanlon seek Mercer Island City Council Pos. 3

Candidates share their views on budget priorities, transit development and more.

Swastikas found on Mercer Island during Jewish holiday

Meanwhile, a new community security group is training Jewish orgs how to protect against hate.

Most Read