Some recent letters to newspapers express much disappointment that the School Bond failed. However, I don't think people need to be so overwhelmingly dispirited about any anticipated negative effects of the NO vote.
Consider, for example, the recent report that Lakeridge Elementary received its second Washington Achievement Award in Excellence based on its performance in: language arts, math, science, etc. This award is based on the Washington Achievement Index which evaluates state wide assessment data for the previous three years.
Further, if you look up online the year-by-year performance results for the elementary schools, you will notice no drop-off in recent years as would be expected if learning conditions were as dire now as some claim.
Could it be that bricks-and-mortar are not the sine qua non of the educational experience? Social science and educational researchers have identified socio-economic status (SES), composed of parental education, income and occupation, as the major predictor of educational and, in fact, life outcomes.
While Mercer Island is no doubt a high SES zip code, I don't believe that school building conditions are trivial for learning and should be ignored. But there is a wide range of acceptable building conditions that bear on academic performance and our schools are likely still well within that range. (Besides we are blessed with good teachers.)
Is there room for improvement? Should we anticipate future needs? Of course. There are data-informed decisions to be made about making near term improvements, the size of our future student population, the need for a new school or not, and what size schools should be, among many other things.
Much work has already been done as has been pointed out and it all and needs to be reviewed. I would guess that many more people are willing to get involved in the process now if they are given plenty of notice and made to feel welcome.
L. A. Warriner