BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Belgrade School District asked for just under $545,000 for the elementary school district and just over $96,000 for the high school district. That money would have gone towards hiring more staff and partial funding for school resource officers.
"It's really disappointing." Belgrade School Superintendent Candy Lubansky says once they got to the courthouse in Bozeman, it wasn't long before they knew the levies hadn't passed. She says a little more than 3,000 of Belgrade's 11,000 registered voters turned in their mailed ballots Tuesday.
"It was really a challenge to understand why, and I need to find a way to talk to the community about what their concerns are," explains Lubansky.
Lubansky tells NBC Montana the levies were all about adding personnel.
"It's pretty challenging because we're in a position to need more things because we're growing," says Lubansky.
She says the district needs to add six teachers at the K-8 level and at least two teachers at the high school. Without the levies, Lubansky tells us it will be at the expense of other positions and other plans they had made for their growing district.
"We would scale back other things like playground aides, luncheon aides, cooks, custodians, administrators," says Lubanksy.
School resource officer positions on hold now.
While some of the money was set to go toward funding new positions for a new elementary school, Lubansky says the absence of the levies will touch all schools, since they've had to redistribute students.
Saddle Peak Elementary is set to open July of this year.
Lubansky asks the public to get in touch with her, especially if they voted against the levies. She's looking for feedback as to how to better reach residents and address their concerns.
You can reach Lubansky at 924-2006.