We are fortunate to enjoy the quality of life and sense of tranquility that the Billings community offers. The unmatched beauty and quality of life is the envy of many in neighboring states and, arguably, the nation. We are grateful for a community that shares our commitment to academic excellence and the belief that there is no greater investment for the future than the education of our children. As superintendent, I want to provide some important information regarding the general fund levy election that takes place May 7, 2013 and our serious accreditation problem.
The proposed elementary general fund levy would provide much needed relief for our overloaded kindergarten through 6th grade classrooms throughout Billings Public Schools. We currently have 20 out of our 22 elementary schools that do not meet accreditation standards for the state of Montana. At the elementary level we have 93 classrooms that are over accreditation.
The general fund levy would provide $1,087,237 that would be exclusively used to hire 15 – 18 new teachers to address overcrowded classrooms. This levy would reflect a slight increase in property taxes. For example, on a $200,000 home this would be approximately a $17.10 increase annually or $1.43 per month. Please see the Elementary General Fund Levy FactSheet on the main page to help explain accreditation, levy funding and other important information.
My goal is to build ongoing support for, and trust in, our wonderful schools and district. A current goal in this area is that of educating voters about the facts of the general fund levy so that each voter can make an informed decision. Please review the levy facts below and let me know if you have any questions or need additional information. I also encourage you to distribute the General Levy Fact Sheet to relatives, friends and community members.
Terry Nelsen Bouck