BREAKING: GFPS Budget Committee Recommends $1.2 Million Elementary Levy, $1 Million Tech Levy

At the GFPS budget meeting (which is still underway), the budget committee recommended a $1.2 million levy for elementary schools, as well as a $1 million technology levy. That’s two levies, for $2.2 million, proposed not even six months after voters approved a nearly $100 million school bond.

The full Board of Trustees will vote on whether or not to send both levies to taxpayers next Monday.


Reader interactions

5 Replies to “BREAKING: GFPS Budget Committee Recommends $1.2 Million Elementary Levy, $1 Million Tech Levy”

  1. Lt. Colonel (Retired, Army) Richard Liebert March 21, 2017 at 7:32 PM

    Let’s not send more $$$$$, let’s SEND new blood, perspectives and folks who insist on debate, discussion and put away the RUBBER STAMPS! DEADLINE to run for school board is 23 MARCH folks! It’s not expensive to campaign, and we NEED citizens to engage.
    As Hemingway say, “A life is measured by the challenges we face” and I hope somebody in the City of Great Falls will rise to the occasion and challenge the ‘status quo’ and indeed challenging.
    🙁 ALERT: be ready, you’ve got a TSUNAMI of possible levies/taxes coming – two school, GFDA levy (May or later), Utility rate increase you can bet on and the customary ‘rubber stamp’ property tax increase the city will enact because ‘they’ can (by state law with number of min. mils allowed), not whether they should.


  2. I am very familiar with schools. We had 4 kids go through, my wife and daughter both substitute teach. The task that we set out for the district is very large, and I think they work in a reasonably efficient manner. I am very familiar with the district’s tech environment and it is in terrible condition. The tech levy is comes out to about $100/student. Every single type of worker from fast food to medicine will need to be totally comfortable with tech to produce the goods and services we need. There are many inflationary pressures on the budget. I would like to know very specific examples of relevant scale of waste.

    “Public education does not exist for the benefit of students or the benefit of their parents. It exists for the benefit of the social order.
    We have discovered as a species that it is useful to have an educated population. You do not need to be a student or have a child who is a student to benefit from public education. Every second of every day of your life, you benefit from public education.
    So let me explain why I like to pay taxes for schools, even though I don’t personally have a kid in school: It’s because I don’t like living in a country with a bunch of stupid people.”
    ― John Green


    1. On Great Falls Public Schools specifically and American public schools in general—

      GFPS wants more money, this time for elementary operations and high school technology. Enough is enough! You can’t put an ever-increasing tax burden on a declining tax base.

      I’m still miffed about the bond levy GFPS received for their buildings. I didn’t like the underhanded way the school district went about it, with a special ballot that cost taxpayers extra money when they could have just added it to the general election. I didn’t like the many questions GFPS left unanswered. Why didn’t the school district do preventive maintenance throughout the years on their buildings, rather than letting them go and then asking for money for new construction & complete remodels on not just one, but several buildings at once? The useful life of a building is hogwash. I went to school in some very old buildings. In the end, it’s the quality of education, not the building, that matters.

      Regarding quality of education or lack thereof—let’s just throw more money into GFPS, which is part of the inept and broken American public education system and see how that goes. When Obama introduced “Race to the Top” in 2009, a ten billion dollar program that essentially bribed states into accepting Common Core Standards, that worked out—not! I could cite several studies that show that as school spending in the United States has increased, student test scores and intellectual performance has decreased. It appears the longer American children are in school and the more money we spend on them, the further behind they get intellectually, compared to other countries.

      Here’s just one: The McKinsey & Company report “The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools” (April 2009) stated, “Several other facts paint a worrisome picture. First, the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers… In other words, American students are farthest behind just as they are about to enter higher education or the workforce.”

      Hmm, that doesn’t sound successful. If the American education system were a business, with results like that it, would soon be out of business. Sounds to me like school districts aren’t doing the job we pay them to do. Public education in our country is currently a government-backed monopoly carried on the backs of the already overtaxed middle class, who already pay for everything.

      I made the choice not to have children, thereby I’ve considerably lessened my carbon footprint and reduced my impact on the environment. Theoretically I should be rewarded for my responsible choice. Instead, quite ironically, as a property owner, I have the burden of exorbitant property taxes, part of which goes to “educate” other people’s children. But unlike them, I get no income tax deduction for dependents. There’s not much fairness in all of that but it would be more tolerable to me if public schools stopped indoctrinating students and actually educated them.

      In response to your John Green quote—I don’t like paying taxes to fund public schools when it appears the public education system’s main goal is to churn out “sheeples” with no critical thinking skills or ability to reason—in other words, stupid people. Stupid people are becoming the rule, not the exception and it’s the direct result of the highly flawed American public educational system.

      There are still exceptional youngsters and teachers who are awesome. However they are hindered, not helped, by our current public educational system. The exceptional students I’ve met in Great Falls, were not the result of the GFPS program, but in spite of it, as is true in most public schools.


  3. Lt. Colonel (Retired, Army) Richard Liebert March 22, 2017 at 4:27 PM

    Good comments from Tim and Jenni….my bottom line, we need citizens with new ideas, perspectives to run for GFPS School Board please, tomorrow is the deadline, 23 March and filing is free at local county election office. Democracy demands a horse race, and as Woody Allen said “eighty percent of success is from just showing up.”


  4. When the school administration always say it’s ONLY A few hundred dollars on your property, they don’t worry about it because the money they get paid they can afford it, but a lot are living paycheck to paycheck and can not afford it!!! Plus who rent don’t have to , most landlords don’t raise the rent to cover it. Maybe when waste money we should reduce their salary!


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