School finance committee
sets operating budget
for next year

April 5, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

The Seeley Lake Elementary School Finance Committee recommended to Superintendent Bill Hyde that the Board of Trustees seek an operating budget for the 2001-2002 school year that is equal to the current year's budget of $940,584.

The Board will review the recommendation and finalize the levy proposal at its regular meeting on April 10, 2001, at 6:00 p.m. in the Seeley Lake Elementary Staff Room.

The committee's recommendation eliminates a teaching position and an administrative position to offset rising operating costs and decreasing State support. The decrease in State support is due to a drop in enrollment.

The committee made its recommendation to Superintendent Bill Hyde at a meeting on March 27, 2001.

The recommendation would require the school to seek approximately $80,000 to maintain the current funding level. This amount will be reduced if additional education funding is provided by the State Legislature.

According to school funding expert Stan Nicholson, a homeowner with a house valued at $50,000 would pay $17 more per year. Taxes on a home valued at $100,000 would increase $34 per year.

Recent changes in state law allows school districts to hold only one levy election a year for the operating budget. The election will be held May 8.

"It is very important that everyone understands what is being requested because voters will have only one opportunity to vote for the school's operating levy," said Board member Pam Pitman.

The Board welcomes comments on the proposed recommendation.

The public may share their comments at the April Board meeting or by calling Board members Bart Peterson (677-2839), Loren Rose (677-2187), Mark Williams (677-3448), Pam Pitman (677-2632) or Vicki Jardine (677-2649), or Superintendent Bill Hyde at 677-2265 or 677-6388.

The Board will also hold a public meeting on the budget before the election. A date for the public meeting will be set at the April Board meeting.

Members of the Finance Committee included Gary Miller, Stan Nicholson, Cheryl Evans, Patti Bartlett-Dunlap, Donna Love, Kim Bezanson, Sherry Foti, Dave Spence, Tom Larson, Sally Johnson, Pam Pitman, Mark Williams and Bill Hyde.

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