GFPS budget meetings this month, will determine action on levy

Updated March 12 with board candidate names.

The Great Falls Public Schools board’s budget committee meets March 16 to review revenue and expense projections and take public comment to make a recommendation to the full board.

The committee will consider options such as running an operational or technology levy, or a safety levy depending on legislative action, or no levy.

The budget committee includes three trustees. Kim Skornogoski chairs the committee, which also includes Jan Cahill and Mark Finnicum.

No candidates have filed for school board seat, deadline is March 25

The committee meeting is 5:30 p.m. March 16 at the district office building, 1100 4th St. S.

The committee will make its recommendation to the full board during their March 22 meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the district office.

School levy approved for Great Falls [2020]

The board’s agenda that night will include considering that recommendation and taking action to prepare for the 2021-2022 budget. Public comment is included on the agenda, as it is at all public meetings.

The board has not given any indication yet that it intends to put a levy on the May ballot, but if they were to do so, they’re required to set an amount by April 1.

GFPS expects $2.38 million in federal funds for COVID-19 response [2020]

Brian Patrick, GFPS business operations director, said that “the elementary levy last year was greatly appreciated” and that the district has more federal funding available this year due to COVID.

In February, the board adopted a resolution for permissive levies, which are non-voted. Patrick said it’s the best guess as to what the district will need in those funds when it finalizes the budget in August. He said that by law, the district must estimate those levies or there can be no changes in the funds.

That resolution included some increases and is available here.

The ballot will also include candidates for an open school board seat. The filing deadline is March 25 and since The Electric reported earlier this month that no candidates had filed, five candidates had filed.

Those candidates are, according to the county elections office:

  • Eric Hinebauch
  • Tucker Lee Schleining
  • Russell Herring
  • Kevin V Leatherbarrow
  • An email filing from Genevieve Smyth, but the elections office will need her original application and has contacted her to let her know.