Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Levies are an investment in Kalispell’s future

by Kalispell Public Schools Board of Trustees
| April 28, 2024 12:00 AM

As Kalispell Public Schools trustees we ask you to invest in the future and support our kids’ education by voting yes for the school levies. Supporting our school levies is a direct way to invest in the future of Kalispell’s children and, by extension, the Kalispell community itself. 

It’s about committing to ongoing improvement and valuing the role of education, societal growth and well-being. As trustees, we encourage you to invest in the future by voting yes for both the elementary technology levy renewal and the high school general fund levy.

Why is a vote for the levy important?  

First, it supports improving educational quality, which leads to better student outcomes and effectively preparing students for future challenges. 

Second, it helps attract and retain teachers, which contributes to a stronger education system. 

Third, it can support extracurricular activities such as sports, fine arts, agricultural education, etc. which help develop a well-rounded student body and strong community pride. 

Fourth, good schools enhance community health and cohesion. Levies can help ensure that all students, regardless of background, have access to quality education and resources promoting equity within the community. 

Finally, investing in education helps cultivate a more educated workforce that can attract businesses and jobs contributing to the economic vitality of Kalispell.

How much are quality schools worth to you?

The state of Montana funds 80% of basic education in public schools.  Local taxpayers are responsible to fund the remaining 20%. Voters have not passed a single high school levy since 2007, currently our high schools remain only 90% funded. 

In fact, Kalispell Public Schools receive the lowest amount of local funding on a per student basis compared to every other AA school district in Montana or $7,653 per student in Kalispell compared to $8,870 per student in Helena. 

Funding from a voter approved high school levy will stay local and help fund programs at H.E. Robinson Agricultural Education Center, Flathead High School, Glacier High School and Linderman Education Center. 

If you are an owner of a home with an assessed property value of $300,000, this levy would cost you $1 per month.

The elementary technology levy is a renewal of an existing levy and will not increase property taxes. Funds will stay local for our local students and be used for the safety of students and staff, parent communication and digital literacy tools. Funds will be available for all elementary schools in the KPS system. Edgerton, Elrod, Hedges, Peterson, Rankin, Russell and Kalispell Middle School will receive funds from the Elementary Technology levy.

If the levies are not approved, elementary schools will see a loss of staff and programs, and the high schools will lose multiple full-time teachers. If approved, the levies will allow us to maintain our current staffing and programs currently in place.

Schools are fundamental to our Kalispell community, not just in educating students but in shaping the broader community’s future. Schools form pillars of our community. As trustees, we urge you to please vote yes to maintain these strong pillars of support.  Your yes vote supports building bright futures, together.

One Dollar. One Community. One Brave Pack.

Kalispell Public School Trustees Heather Asher, Scott Warnell, Krista Buls, Sue Corrigan, Jack Fallon, Lance Isaak, Mark Kornick, Rebecca Linden, Jinn Mariman, Jennifer Sevier and Ursula Wilde.