Letters to the Editor

Vote for schools Feb. 9

On Feb. 9, the Mercer Island School District (MISD) will have three levy renewal propositions on the ballot: the general fund levy, capital projects levy and transportation levy. Last year, reductions in state funding required tough budgetary decisions in our district. In fact, the MISD has reduced its budget by $3 million over the past four years. Cuts of another $1-2 million are expected this year due to revenue shortfalls at the state level.

You may be surprised to learn that the MISD is already in the bottom 10 percent from a state funding perspective, ranking 288 out of 295 Washington school districts in funds received. Even with local community support, the MISD is in the bottom half from an expenditures per student perspective, lagging behind Seattle, Bellevue, Bremerton and Tukwila.

State funding covers only part of our education costs.  Local school levies are a critical component of our quality educational programs. These three levies will continue to provide funding for close to 25 percent of all educational and support programs, will keep our school transportation safe, and will provide necessary learning enhancements and infrastructure support in our schools.

These school levies ensure that Mercer Island can maintain our quality schools. Quality schools benefit everyone on Mercer Island, from senior citizens to empty nesters to families with school-aged children and future school-aged children.

To learn more, please visit our Web site at www.SchoolLevyYes.org, join our Facebook page, check out the District Web site at www.misd.k12.wa.us, send your questions to info@SchoolLevyYes.org or join us, a group of community volunteers dedicated to supporting Mercer Island schools, every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Center.

Three YES votes for schools. It has never been more important.

Committee for Mercer Island Public Schools, CMIPS

Mike Dickstein, Chair

Rand Ginn, Treasurer

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