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School Board Directors, past and present, support school bond issues
As current and former Mercer Island school board directors, we are united in our endorsement of the Prop #1 school bond and Prop #2 local levy renewal on the ballot in February, 2014. Both are critical to solving our district’s growing overcrowding problems and ensuring we continue to have strong schools.
Mercer Island has great schools but they are severely overcrowded and projections show the district will continue this strong enrollment for the foreseeable future. This year more than 700 students are in 34 portable classrooms. Our overcrowded schools are impacting students’ education: play space is constricted by portables; common areas are crowded and over scheduled; lunch times are compressed; and parking and traffic are very congested.
The 2014 school bond will add more capacity at all grade levels. The bond will build a new elementary school and expand the middle and high schools – every school will benefit by getting more space. The total bond amount is half of the former bond; it’s focused exclusively on fixing overcrowding; and it maintains the investments that have been made in our schools.
The four-year school levy is a renewal for the one that was passed overwhelmingly by voters on Mercer Island in 2010. Washington State does not fully fund K-12 education.
Mercer Island schools must provide additional local funding to maintain education programs that exceed the levels funded by the state.
The levy renewal provides 26 percent of general funding for nearly 100 teachers and staff, school supplies, athletics, transportation, and building maintenance.
The bond measure and levy renewal are essential to maintaining our excellent schools and staff. We’re fortunate our community understands this and has strongly supported our schools in past elections.
We urge you to vote yes for both measures.
Lisa Strauch Eggers, Boyd Vander Houwen,
Dirk van der Burch,
*asterisk denotes current board member