Vote yes for school levies
January 12, 2010 · 1:36 PM
There are three important school levy measures on the ballot on Feb. 9. The first two, the general fund levy and transportation levy, are renewals of current levies. The general fund levy provides over 23 percent of our school budget; the transportation levy ensures safe and efficient buses for our students. Both measures deserve our continued support.
The third levy, the capital projects levy, includes critical technology funding as well as funding for necessary updates to school buildings. The list of needed improvements is comprehensive and can be found on the district’s Web site.
One item on the list is a badly needed overhaul of the music rooms at Mercer Island High School. Since the high school remodel in 1997, enrollment in our music program has doubled, with more than 25 percent of the MIHS student population participating in a music class during the school day. Our 300-plus member band has been unable to fit into the band room for years; after removing all music stands and chairs, band members must stand in the hallways and instrument storage room to participate in rehearsals.
The proposed upgrade will provide an expanded instructional space that can accommodate all students. It includes a flat floor design that will provide additional room while making it possible for the percussion and jazz programs to move large and bulky musical instruments. It includes necessary acoustical treatments to ensure effective instruction. It will eliminate the cluttered and crowded conditions currently present and provide a safer environment for learning.
The economic situation requires that the district carefully and thoughtfully reflect on its needs prior to asking the community to provide funding. The capital projects levy, which includes a safer and program-appropriate music facility, is critical and much-needed funding. Please support all three levies with a yes vote on Feb. 9.