April 19, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
The MCPS Board of Trustees received a legislative update from Superintendent Mary Vagner at its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 10. Vagner told Board members that the State Legislature is narrowing its focus on K-12 education funding (for the next biennium) and that she hopes to have a clearer picture of the state's K-12 education budget by the end of the week.
Earlier that evening, Vagner had received word that House Bill 121, the key education bill, had passed the Senate. Currently, the bill provides a 1.88 percent increase in state education funding in both the first and second years of the biennium (K-12), but those percentages could be amended when it goes to a special House-Senate conference committee to work out differences in the bill. Other education bills, including Senate Bill 390 (special one-time only flex-spending) and Senate Bill 94 (special education funding), could also impact the general fund budget. SB 94 has reached the Governor's Desk for signature and SB 390 is still in conference committee.
The Board approved elementary and secondary mill levy ballots for the May 8 election, but set a special meeting at 3 p.m., Friday, April 13, to adjust the levy amount based on any new developments in the Legislature through the week. Vagner reported that Senate Bill 117 (transportation and adult education) was approved by the Legislature and is on the Governor's desk for signature. That bill allows school districts to set permissive mill levies in the areas of transportation and adult education.
The Board approved the Alternative High School Program for the 2001-2002 school year. The program will be based at Willard Learning Center. Adult and Continuing Education Services currently located at Willard will be moved to Dickinson, which already houses some adult education programs. The Independent Study Program, which is housed at Dickinson, will be relocated to Willard. The Rebound program, in its first year, is currently based at Willard and will remain there next year. The Alternative High School Program will serve about 100 students and will be a program of choice.
Board Chairman Mike Kupilik announced that Kim Haines, principal at Seeley-Swan High School, has submitted a letter of retirement effective Dec. 31, 2001. Mr. Haines has worked in education for 40 years and has served as principal at Seeley-Swan for 37 years. Dr. Kupilik thanked Principal Haines for his many years of service and dedication to the school and community.
The Board awarded bid on the new multimedia center/library at Seeley-Swan High School to Western Interstate Construction. In addition to the new library, the contractor will also install a new gymnasium ceiling and renovate existing bathrooms to make them ADA compliant. Work on the projects could begin as early as May.