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MCPS elementary schools levy needed to maintain accreditation - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

MCPS elementary schools levy needed to maintain accreditation

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This is the first operational levy request in five years. (MTN News photo) This is the first operational levy request in five years. (MTN News photo)
Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Mark Thane (MTN News photo) Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Mark Thane (MTN News photo)
MISSOULA -

Missoula County Public Schools is asking voters to approve an $800,000 operations levy for its elementary schools.

MCPS superintendent Mark Thane says the request is somewhat unexpected, saying it comes after state funding was lower than needed this fiscal year. Thane says a 1.37% inflationary increase to the budget was expected but the legislature only approved an increase of .05%. 

The levy would be used to fund instructional programs and materials, extra-curricular programs, utilities such as electricity, natural gas and water, employee salaries and benefits and other miscellaneous general fund expenses.

Thane says these funds cannot be paid for by the Smart Schools 2020 bond, adding the levy is needed so that MCPS elementary schools to maintain accreditation.

"If we intend to continue to meet accreditation standards, we'll need to add additional staff.  We actually have several classrooms in the district this year that exceed state accreditation standards and we've utilized an opportunity to put paraeducators in those classrooms to support teachers," Thane said. "But in order to meet accreditation standards, we'll have to open some additional classrooms because of increased enrollment."

Taxes on homes with a value of $100,000 would rise just under $10 per year and by just under $20 per year for homes valued at $200,000 if voters approve the levy request.

The ballots are currently being mailed out and must be returned by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2.  This is the first operations levy requested by the district in five years.  Click here tor more information on the levy request.

Ballots can be returned by mail or dropped off. The drop-off locations are at the Missoula County Elections Office on West Broadway and at the Missoula County Fairgrounds in the Fine Arts Building.

Voters can also drop off their ballots on May 2 (only) at Chief Charlo Elementary and Rattlesnake Elementary schools.

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