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Billings school district recommends first levy in over 10 years

Posted at 6:08 PM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:50:06-04

BILLINGS – Billings School District 2 Superintendent Greg Upham is recommending that the trustees run a high school operational Levy in May’s election. 

The high schools have not had a levy passed since 2007.

Upham told Q2 Tuesday that most of the curricular resources are online, which is where a good chunk of the money spent would be focused on.

“We do buy classrooms sets of textbooks for those students who don’t have access to technology at home,” Upham said. “But the tablets are replacing the actual textbooks so the costs are very similar. The licensing needs to be updated. We just haven’t been able to keep pace with what I would consider a healthy cycle of curriculum adoptions. This allows us to go after the funding that is there under the funding support systems for schools that- if we are successful at passing the levy- is upwards of a million dollars.”

If the levy is approved, owners of homes worth $200,000 would see a $10 increase in property taxes over the year.

If trustees approve the plan, voters would decide on the levy in an all-mail election, likely in May.

Upham says this will allow the district to keep pace with other high schools in our neighboring cities.

The money will also be used toward workplace coordinators in high schools.

On April 2, the school district will hold a job fair at MetraPark called “Let’s get to work” to help encourage students to get work experience while they are in high school.