I am the member of the Mercer Island School Board who opposed the 2012 Bond issue. I strongly support the current 2014 Bond issue, and urge every citizen of MI to vote yes.
The present situation is that we have 34 non-permanent “portable” classrooms housing more than 700 students, occupying playground space and providing no bathroom facilities, among their deficiencies. The student population is rising each year as we speak. This is not a sustainable long-term proposition.
The proposed facilities plan will address our space needs efficiently. All the permanent classrooms in the district will remain in use, only adding to them, and tearing down none. Facilities will be expanded where needed, for example, with a new elementary school, and Middle School modifications with larger common areas, including the lunchroom. Classrooms will be added at all levels, including sorely needed high school science labs. The proposed configuration is sustainable indefinitely, but allows flexibility for future school boards responding to future situations.
We have addressed Mercer Island’s need for facility expansion in a methodical, transparent and considered manner, with much public input. The plans are extremely well thought out, and delineated in considerable architectural detail. They are available to the public on the MISD website. The current proposal is also cost-effective, as it only adds classrooms, and tears down none.
It may come as a surprise to many, but the Mercer Island School District is very efficient in its use of funds. The total cost of educating each student in MI is $12,450. Nearby districts spend from $14,736 to $17,196. (2012 data, latest available). With this bond, we will easily maintain this position.
I believe we will be providing the best public education in the state in a very cost-effective manner. I hope you will join me in voting yes on the Bond, and on the Levy as well.
Director, Mercer Island School District