Letter: David Hetzel
It’s Time to Step Up and Pass the School Bond
Recently moving to Mercer Island from the Midwest, I was shocked and somewhat perplexed to learn MI’s schools, with such a solid national reputation, are actually in crisis — 34% overcrowding today, growing to 41% by 2015 — and old buildings that are failing teachers, kids and the administration. Who’s ever heard of moving a piano into the hallway so the drama teacher can instruct kids one the upcoming musical, as others floated by. Really!!?
And yes, I was saddened to hear that kids remark more about the crowds and the lines at the science fair, rather than discuss their excitement or amazement about the cool projects. This is not good. I asked myself, is this really the right community to raise my twin girls? Did I really want this for them? Honestly, when we toured Islander Middle School it was underwhelming for the whole family… Great people, but the building was loud, crowded and kinda dingy.
I was shocked that such a proud and strong community would allow its schools to fall into such disarray and perplexed that an affluent community would so totally underfund its schools. Are we really ranked 12th of 15 for capital funding per student? Really? C’mon, we’re Mercer Island and we’ve got to be better than this. Schools are the backbone of a community. It’s been 50 years or more since some of these schools were built. What’s the deal Mercer Island; it’s time for MI to do the the right thing — it’s time to stand squarely behind our kids’ schooling and help them build great futures, by building/funding these long needed improvements in our academic island infrastructure such that excellence in education and in enrichment programs, music, theater and sports can grow and prosper.
It’s simple, let’s help build the proper facilities so teachers can teach, kids can learn and parents can be proud they made it happen… And in so doing we build a better, stronger Mercer Island that we can all be proud of.
If not now, when?
Sincerely new MI resident, parent (of two 6th graders), husband and dog owner,
This letter was published on Mercer Island Patch