Mercer Island schools: a community asset | Island Forum

Mercer Island has a long-standing tradition of raising great students who go on and do amazing things for our community, country and world. The excellence of our schools academic programming is the result of the partnership of dedicated Mercer Island School District staff and our community. The MISD prides itself on the quality and quantity of community involvement. Over time it has been proven that our community’s investment in our children’s future through exceptional, local education pays off for ALL Islanders.

While waiting for budget work to be completed in Olympia, the school district’s budget development process for the 2017-18 school year remains fluid with many unknowns. However, the MISD is anticipating and preparing for a significant budget shortfall for the coming school year due to several factors. The most significant is the woeful underfunding of basic education by the state of Washington. Mercer Island is one of the lowest-ranking districts in per-pupil funding in the state, ranking 291 out of 300 school districts.

The current projected budget reductions for 2017-2018 will negatively impact parent communication and administrative support, impact curriculum and teacher development and will lead to increased class sizes across the district. Throughout the spring, the district will continue to explore all of its options to minimize the budget cuts.

The central pillar to our community’s vitality is our exceptional school system, one of the BEST in the state. As a community, we can determine and maintain our desired standard of excellence for education, we don’t have to wait for the legislature to make their decision.

A community commitment and investment through the Mercer Island Schools Foundation’s BRIDGE l 2017 Campaign, WILL save some, perhaps even all, of our teachers. The district budget depends on the success of the Mercer Island Schools Foundation’s BRIDGE l 2017 Campaign to leverage all available budget dollars and provide a world-class education for every student. Your investment today in the next generation of leaders, innovators and citizens is the key!

Together, we can keep our excellent teachers, keep class sizes low and continue to provide a world-class education to every student. Whether you currently have children, grandchildren or no children attending the Mercer Island schools, everyone in the Mercer Island community benefits when our schools are thriving.

Join us on April 25 at the Breakfast of Champions to celebrate exceptional students, teachers and meet the MISD 2017 Pathfinders, graduates of MIHS who today are world-changers. Witness first-hand the impact your investment creates for students and teachers. Everyone is invited!

Reserve your seat today:

Can’t attend the Breakfast of Champions? Make your BRIDGE l 2017 investment today:

Throughout the spring exciting community events will be taking place across the Island. Watch for individual school and community events hosted by the Mercer Island Schools Foundation. Join the fun, catch the spirit and show your strong commitment to keeping Mercer Island schools the BEST!

Penny Yantis is the executive director of the Mercer Island Schools Foundation and can be reached at