Letters to the Editor

Vote yes on school levies

Please vote ‘yes’ on all three levies for our Mercer Island schools when you receive your mailed ballot this week.

Each of our schools' PTAs, which we represent, supports these levies. And on a personal level, we can testify that our Mercer Island School District leadership, from the School Board and superintendent, to the staff and parents, has thoughtfully crafted and discussed (sometimes debated) all the elements of these levies prior to sending them to you. We are so impressed with the level of integrity and forward-thinking of all of the parties involved.

We also want to acknowledge all those who came before our time, both district leadership/staff/parents and community voters. We moved onto this Island because of the schools. And the schools are what they are due to the consistent and wholehearted support by all of you. Thank you for that gift to our children.

So, here is the next set of levies, and we can attest that all three levies are vital to the continued health of our Island schools.

One levy is a general fund levy (sometimes referred to as the maintenance and operations levy). This is simply a replacement levy and is the one that actually runs our schools — it pays for teacher salaries, electricity, water, paper, etc. Because we only receive about 61 percent of our operating costs from the state, the rest is made up mostly by this levy.

The next levy is the capital projects fund levy (which includes technology). As anyone can see, our facilities are used heavily by the community each and every year. In order to maintain our campuses and also extend the effectiveness of our building remodels from the '90s, we need to constantly repair, update and maintain our infrastructure.

This capital fund levy also has a technology component. Our district has very thoughtfully implemented the last technology levy funds into our classrooms. This year’s levy would continue that work to provide our children with exposure to 21st century methods of learning, communicating, researching, etc. (and if you are at all interested in this implementation, check out the MISD Web site and E-Connections. There you will find wonderful examples of technology-supported learning happening at each grade level).

The third levy is a transportation levy. This is a standard one-year replacement levy to replace older school buses at the end of their serviceable life. Newer school buses are safer and more cost-efficient for the district.

So, once again, we want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to our Mercer Island community for supporting our schools with the approval of past levies. You are the reason we have such an amazing set of schools and staff for our Island kids. Please continue that remarkable support with three ‘yes’ votes this election cycle.

Sincerely,

Beth Picardo, MIHS PTSA President

Jayme Witman, IMS PTSA President

Jennifer McLellan Island Park PTA President

Jodi King-Goldman, Lakeridge PTA Co-President

Liz Silke, Lakeridge PTA Co-President

Tammy Luce, West Mercer PTA President

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