Letter | School district has faced years of deep funding cuts
December 21, 2011 · Updated 10:24 AM
Sadly, Mr. Travis is the one who has been misled (“All are ‘easily misled’ by education union”). Despite the skewed claims by the Washington Policy Center, Mercer Island Schools have seen deep cuts to its budget. The Mercer Island School District’s state and federal funding has dropped $2.8 million dollars between the 2007-08 and 2009-10 school years. On the state level, we’ve seen K-16 funding cut by $2.5 billion dollars.
Thanks to generous financial contributions from our community, the tireless dedication of teachers and educational support staff, and the careful budgeting of the district, we’ve been able to protect our kids from feeling most of the cuts.
It is precisely because of the collaboration between educators, parents, district leadership and community members that our students are so successful. The U.S. News and World Report ranks us among the best in the nation for math and science. Forbes lists us as #2 in the top 10 “Best Schools for Your Real Estate Buck.” Our district is rated #1 in the state for our state test results. We have six students identified as National Merit Finalists and 19 as Commended Scholars, and we’ve received the Golden Apple Award for our excellence.
We continue to collaborate because we all recognize our schools are at a financial breaking point. How many more years does the community have to contribute $1.7 million to MISD to cover what is the state’s “paramount duty?” Washington state currently ranks 47th worst in the nation in per pupil spending and 49th in class size. Mr. Travis may like to see us rank 50th, but common sense tells us we have to invest in our schools if we want the best for our kids. It is time to stop the funding cuts.
Tani Lindquist, President
Mercer Island Education Association