The unofficial results of the Tuesday, May 3, 2022 elections are being tallied.
Several school trustees, levies, and bonds were decided in Western Montana.
While not official until the votes are canvassed, most of the results from the areas school elections are in.
Most of these revolve around school bonds and levies and results were mixed.
The Polson School District's Elementary Bond proposal would have provided just over $32 million for all three elementary schools but the voters narrowly voted against the bond 51%-to-49% — a difference of 44 votes.
This bond would have allowed for the realignment of the elementary schools allowing Cherry Valley to serve the district's Pre-K through second-grade students and Linderman Elementary School to serve the district’s 3rd grade through 5th-grade students. Polson Middle School will serve sixth-grade through eighth-grade students. The bond would have helped expand facilities to alleviate overcrowding.
The high school bond before voters was just over $17.7 million, the largest in western Montana. The voters decided against this bond by a margin of 63%-to-47%.
The majority of the funds would have been used to finance a new two-story addition on the school’s north side to replace aging modular units. It would have also allowed for expansion of the high school with new classrooms and updated safety among many others.
For Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS), the $295,000 general fund levy for the elementary district appears to have passed comfortably by a margin of about 4,500 votes for an unofficial tally of 11,642 in favor and 7,234 opposed. The levy would be used for the purpose of instruction and operation of the Missoula elementary schools.
The high school levy for MCPS is much closer but is leading by about 51%-to-49%, a difference of about 2,200 votes — 15,668 for and 13,403 against. The more than $500,000 levy would be used for the purpose of instruction and operation of the Missoula high schools.
The Kalispell School District asked taxpayers to vote on a high school general fund levy request which did not pass with over 5,700 for and over 8,300 against the request. The $1.5 million levy was to fund a variety of costs related to the day-to-day operations of Flathead and Glacier high schools. Funds would have gone toward curriculum, teaching materials, teacher salaries, utilities, technology, activities, and more.
The Target Range School Board of Trustees proposed a new technology tax levy in the amount of $255,000 per year for 10 years, but that apparently was defeated by an un official tally of 771 for and 949 against. The proposed tax hike would have been the first change in the school’s technology budget since 2004. The big-ticket items of tech spending are laptops for each student, network infrastructure, and subscriptions to the online curriculum.
Elsewhere in Missoula County, levy requests in Frenchtown and Bonner were easily defeated, while DeSmet School and Woodman School levies are on their way to passing.
Voters decided against the Bitterroot Valley Community College levy with over 5,200 for and more than 7,400 votes against the proposal. This is the second time in two years Ravalli County voters have been asked to approve a funding package to launch a new community college into full operation.
All the voting for the levy to fund the Bitterroot Valley Community College was being done through the mail. Ravalli County election officials estimate voter turnout was close to 40% for Tuesday's election. At stake was a proposal that would finance BVCC, which was approved two years ago without funding, and then by the Montana Legislature last year.
May 3, 2022
Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) trustees asking for a $294,790 general fund levy for the elementary district. The levy would be used for the purpose of instruction and operation of the Missoula high schools. MCPS trustees also put a $525,962 general fund levy for the high schools before voters. The levy would be used for the purpose of instruction and operation of the Missoula high schools.
DeSmet School in Missoula is asking residents for a $29,900 technology levy to purchase, rent, repair, and maintain technological equipment. The money would also be used for software, training and licensing. The request is in addition to $29,798 previously authorized as a perpetual levy.
A $536,000 general fund levy is before Frenchtown residents. The money would go towards maintaining the operational needs of the school district to support student programs, services and staffing needs.
Bonner School Trustees put a $133,000 general fund levy before voters. The purpose of the money is for district operations.
Woodman School located on Highway 12 west of Lolo requesting $18,750 per year for four years building reserve levy. The money would go toward the purchase of replacing the roof on two school buildings, replacing flooring, interior painting, replacing windows and blinds, and renovating the kitchen in the multi-purpose room.
The Target Range School Board of Trustees has proposed a new technology tax levy in the amount of $255,000 per year for 10 years. The proposed tax hike would be the first change in the school’s technology budget since 2004. The big-ticket items of tech spending are laptops for each student, network infrastructure, and subscriptions to the online curriculum.
Voters in Polson turned down a pair of school bond requests just over two years ago. The requests were made so that buildings that were built around 50 years ago could be renovated. Now, the elementary and high school bonds are back on the table for all the same reasons — with safety being the driving force. The $49 million bond request will help renovate and expand the elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as help change the curriculum model.
In Ravalli County, the levy for the Bitterroot Valley Community College would fund 25% of the school’s operating costs and would unlock state funds.
The Kalispell School District is asking taxpayers to vote on a high school general fund levy request. The $1.5 million levy would fund a variety of costs related to the day-to-day operations of Flathead and Glacier high schools. Funds would go toward curriculum, teaching materials, teacher salaries, utilities, technology, activities, and more.