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MISD Moves to Add Portables at IMS, Elementary Schools

New portable classrooms must be placed on playground space at Island Park and Lakeridge due to an expected jump in elementary school enrollment by 2014.

The announced plans to install six more portable classrooms to handle expected increases in K-8 enrollment over the next two years, according to a press release.

MISD Chief Financial Officer Dean Mack said and lack of classroom space require portables to be sited at at , and , increasing the MISD's number of portable classrooms from 26 to 32.

“Due to our current facility limitations, we must move to provide classroom space for students projected to arrive on our doorstep in September, 2012," Mack said. "This growth in student population was forecast in our long-range enrollment projections.”

The "double-wide" portable classroom buildings will each hold two classrooms and have a capacity of 40 students and will be placed on the school campuses this summer. Mack said he expected an enrollment increase of 70 more elementary students and an increase of 40 more middle school-aged students by 2014. The district's current enrollment "headcount" was 4,205 on Oct. 1, 2011.

According to the district, no additional capacity will be added to West Mercer Elementary School because the school is already 40 percent above design capacity — it was designed for 480 students, but 670 are currently enrolled there. Island Park's design capacity is 430 students, but currently holds 550 students; Lakeridge was designed for 455 but now has 600 students; and Islander Middle School, designed for 850, now holds 1,007 students.

The last time a portable was added to a school was in 2010 when the district added one portable classroom to West Mercer.

The press release also states that the MISD is presently working the regarding the locations of the portable classrooms. The District projects that it will need to site the elementary portables on impervious surfaces, such as playgrounds, and the middle school portable will be placed on the campus in an area where a previous portable was once located.

"This is not a new conversation," said Mack. "It's been going on for a number of years now. The only thing that has changed is time."

 

Ira B. Appelman March 28, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Thanks, Kendall: I don't quite understand. So what's the final dollar amount you believe MISF can spend on lobbying based on IRS rules?
Kendall Watson March 28, 2012 at 07:28 PM
That's what I was saying above. Based on the MISF Annual Report, it appears that very few categories indicate where they could use funds to lobby. So my best understanding here based on limited knowledge is that, on balance — and even assuming the extreme (again, as I outline above) — that it would not violate the guideline laid out in that table.
Marty Gale March 29, 2012 at 04:06 PM
In my previous message concerning the money that the Mercer Island Schools Foundation gives to the PDC-registered, "Committee for Mercer Island Public Schools," I erred when I said it was "not legal." Thanks go to Kendall for finding the IRS statements for that. However, although it may be legal for the Foundation to give money to a campaign, perhaps the Foundation should let the public know of ALL the uses of their Foundation contributions instead of just the ones listed on their website. Nowhere does it say that any portion of the contributions received and passed onto political campaigns is part of their mission statement. http://mercerislandschoolsfoundation.com/about-us/
Ira B. Appelman March 30, 2012 at 03:13 PM
MISF Executive Director Penny Yantis sent essentially the above response to me. Here’s my reply, edited to fit space limitations: Thanks for your written response.... I am writing again because I don't understand two aspects of your response: (1) You explain that a 501(c)3 organization can contribute to a ballot issue campaign if those contributions aren't a "substantial part" of the organization's activities. On what basis do you conclude your contributions to CMIPS "do not constitute a substantial part of MISF's activites...?" Do you have an IRS ruling? Have you made calculations showing your contributions below a stated IRS threshold? How much would you have to contribute for the contribution to be a "substantial part" of MISF activities? (2) You also point out that your mission statement was incorrectly quoted online, but instead is that MISF is "dedicated to enhancing and improving the quality of education..." "by obtaining contributions for the public schools." You then claim that endorsing the proposed bond is consistent with your mission "because we believe it will enhance and improve the qualify of education..." What is confusing is that your mission statement claims that you are reaching your goal "by obtaining contributions," not by lobbying, campaigning, or political activity of any sort. Your mission statement doesn't include political activity of any sort. I would appreciate any help you can give to eliminate perceived confusion of MISF activities.
Kendall Watson April 14, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Thanks Marty for this statement of errata, which I am sure is appreciated in all quarters. It is absolutely a fair point and reasonable to debate whether the use of the MISF's money in this way is a wise choice.

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