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School mill levy campaign starts in Billings

Posted at 10:07 PM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:49:34-04

BILLINGS- Supporters of a Billings School District 2 mill levy rallied at St. John’s United Lillis Chapel on Wednesday afternoon.

Next month, School District 2 will ask Billings voters to pass a high school mill levy for the first time in 12 years.

A $971,467 operational levy will be on the ballot for a mail-in election on May 8.

If passed, the levy would pay for textbooks and tools for learning and help with career counselors.

The levy would increase property taxes $10.04 on a $200,000 home.

Close to 70 people, including students and teaching and business professionals, talked about the future of education.

The group talked about changes that have made for different challenges for students today.

Students are part of the effort to get the mill levy passed.

“We are not preparing kids well enough to enter the workforce.” said Jack Davies, a senior at West High School. “And we are not preparing kids well enough to enter college. School District 2 does generally a very good job, but I think we can be doing even a better job.”

“This isn’t just a levy we’re after,” said Superintendent Greg Upham. “We’re after a paradigm shift. The need in society to replace the workers and employees that is currently happening, we have an opportunity to introduce careers to them like we never have before.”

“This group is energized,” said Todd Buchanan, part of the mill levy leadership team. “I’m really impressed with the student leadership, making a very strong value proposition that we need to be a community that gives students the best opportunities to succeed. And I feel we’re off to a good start.”

The campaign is titled “Stand 4 Students, It’s Time.”

Students are holding a rally next Wednesday at 4 p.m. on the Yellowstone County Courthouse Lawn.