Belgrade Schools Ask Voters For Levy - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Belgrade Schools Ask Voters For Levy

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BELGRADE -

Residents in Belgrade will vote on an operations levy for both the Belgrade high school and elementary districts, in the upcoming schools election.

The last operating levy for Belgrade schools passed in 2008.

Last year, Belgrade voters shot down a levy the school put before them.

Officials said it is back to the drawing board if this one doesn't pass.

Belgrade Public Schools is putting a $711,000 levy before voters in the elementary district and $112,000 for the high school.

Belgrade Superintendent, Candy Lubansky, said the first thing the district would do with the extra funding is hire more six more teachers and another school nurse.

 "As we continue to grow as a district, the need for teachers and to maintain our accreditation standards and the need for a nurse," said Lubansky.

Lubansky said many of the elementary class sizes are near the maximum allowed to maintain their accreditation.

She also said right now there is only one nurse serving three elementary schools, the middle school, the high school and alternative school.

The levy would also go toward updating the district's curriculum.

"We really need contemporary materials and digital resources to help us do an effective job in teaching math," said Lubansky.

The Belgrade Levy Committee Co-Chair, Tracy Johnson, said many of the materials the school already owns is too dated.

 "The math curriculum is out of date enough so that if a teacher has taken the teacher's manual with them, then the new teacher does not have a teacher's manual, nor can they get one because it is out of print," said Johnson.

She said if the levy passes, taxpayers will see about a $28 increase on a property valued at $100,000.

Johnson said if the levy doesn't pass, the students will soon see the budget cuts.

"They've done a great job making cuts as far away as possible from the kids, but let's get real. How long does that last? Eventually it is going to affect our kids directly and that is what we are trying to stop from happening," said Johnson.

Lubansky said if the levy fails, they will revisit the elementary boundaries to make sure class sizes don't go over their accreditation limit.

Ballots for the mail-in school election will be mailed out April 21.

They need to be returned to the Gallatin County Elections Office by May 6.

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