Ballots sent out for vote on GFPS operational levy

Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 20:50:30-04

Ballots were sent out on Tuesday for the public to vote on an operational levy for Great Falls Public Schools.

GFPS is looking for close to $1.4 million, which they would achieve by raising taxes per household.

For example, on a home valued at $100,000, the property owner would pay approximately $13.28 a year, or $1.11 a month.

Many people have questioned why the school district needs more money after a bond levy of $98.8 million passed in October 2016.

GFPS Superintendent Tammy Lacey said a bond levy and an operational levy are two different entities.

“I think the easiest way to remember it is the bond levies is for building and it can only be used for the buildings and facilities by law,” said Lacey. “The ballot was very clear on how we would spend that money and we’re spending it accordingly. That money cannot be used on the general operations, the maintenance, the salaries, the programming, that take place inside those buildings.”

Lacey added without this levy, five teaching staff members would be reduced. Two of those would be the environmental education program, which would end the program.

That program helps students get a hands-on learning experience, such as learning about fossils, recycling, and winter ecology.

Two teachers in the gifted education program would also be reduced.

Lacey suggested people go ahead and vote when they receive their ballot in the mail.

Ballots are due back May 8.

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