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Flathead County voters to decide school levy requests

Posted at 9:09 AM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 11:49:14-04

KALISPELL – Voters in the Flathead are being asked to give their approval to several school levy requests on Tuesday, May 7.

The Evergreen School District is running their first levy request in 14 years. Superintendent Laurie Barron says that as the second largest K-8 district in the state, the $295,000 levy is desperately needed.

If passed, the funds will go towards new flexible learning spaces, updating technology, teacher salaries and maintaining the free breakfast and lunch program for students.

The money would also be used toward the hiring of a school resource officer. Barron says one recent incident left the district needing a SRO more than ever.

“When a veiled threat was made we were one of the last ones to find out about it because we didn’t have a school resource officer and the person’s address was close to our district. Thankfully through colleague networks, we were able to find out and make good decisions. But we can’t take those risks,” Barron told MTN News.

Approval of the levy would mean that taxes for a home valued at $100,000 would be $25 while those with a $200,000 home would be $50 a year.

Click here for more information on the Evergreen school levy request.

Meanwhile, the Marion School District is asking for the approval of two levies.

The first measure at $90,250 focuses on improving student and teacher resources. If passed, students and faculty will get new laptops, hard drives and classroom whiteboards.

The cost per year for a home valued at $100,000 would be $17.69; for a home valued at $200,000, the cost would be $35.37 annually.

The second is a general levy for $112,000, and if passed, the money would be used to provide extra staff to help students not qualified for special services but are falling through the cracks.

Additionally, classroom staples like new textbooks, band/choir risers and a new heating system for the middle school.

Owners of a home valued at $100,000 would see taxes go up by $21.95 per year. The cost for a home valued at $200,000 would be $43.90 annually.

The Kalispell Public School District is also asking for its first general fund levy in 12 years.

Since then, enrollment has increased by 333 making district home to two of the largest schools in Montana.

The levy aims to address school safety concerns as well as curriculum and technology improvements.

Superintendent Mark Flatau says the levy would help the district desperate need for new technology.

“Folks may remember that in 2014 a high school tech levy failed. And so, for that reason we’re really desperately looking to correct that issue in regards to getting some funding for technology,” says Flatau.

Flatau says that if the measure passes, $300,000 of the levy would go towards updating the technology at Flathead and Glacier high schools.

Click here for more information on the Kalispell school levy request.

The Whitefish School District is running three levy requests on Tuesday. The elementary and high school are running technology levies and the elementary school is running a general fund levy.

The Whitefish Elementary General Fund Levy request is for $50,975 and the technology levy for Whitefish elementary is $321,600. The Whitefish High School levy is in the amount of $158,400.

Whitefish school officials say this money will go towards support their network infrastructure, network security and hardware that must be replaced on a regular cycle to be kept up-to-date.

The Whitefish School District polls are open until 8 p.m. on Tuesday tonight at the Whitefish Middle School.

Click here for more information on the Whitefish school levy request.