MCPS to ask voters for more funding with levies
(KPAX) Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) will be joining several other schools who have announced levies on the upcoming educational ballot in May.
MCPS has requests for a general fund levy and a building reserve levy for both its elementary and high school districts.
The general fund levy request for the elementary schools is $261,504, which will increase property taxes on a home worth $100,000 by $2.58 per year. The general fund levy request for the high schools is $128,054, which will increase property taxes on a home worth $100,000 by $0.69 per year.
The general fund levies will go towards utilities, curriculum materials and teacher salaries. MCPS spokeswoman Tyler Christensen says the raise in salaries is important to remain competitive for teacher retention and recruitment.
"The way the state of Montana school funding formula works is that a portion of our normal operating general fund budget is voted on by local levies," Christensen says. "So about 30% of the MCPS general fund budget is local levies. The other 70% is made by state and federal funding, and 20% of that 30% is voted."
The building reserve levies will ask for a bit more money, as those funds are not provided by the state.
The elementary district levy request is $3.5 million, increasing property taxes on a home worth $100,000 by $6.48 per year. The high school building reserve levy request is $4.9 million, increasing property taxes on a home worth $100,000 by $3.61 per year.
The extra building reserve funds will go toward security improvements and infrastructure repairs. Christensen says there are a few roofs that desperately need to be repaired.
The funds would also be used to replace security systems and add new technology that would allow doors to be locked quicker and easier.
The election is mail-in voting only. Ballots will be sent out on April 12, 2023, and must be returned by May 2, 2023.