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Missoula school officials prepare for May elections

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Mar 12 2013 03:29:47 PM MDT
Missoula school officials prepare for May elections
MISSOULA, Mont. -

A press release from Missoula County Public Schools reminds Missoula County residents school elections are Thursday, May 7.

School officials will be holding informational presentations a few times a week at various locations around Missoula throughout March and April so parents, students, staff and community members can learn more and get any questions answered. 

The main items on the agenda are two controversial technology levies which some have spoken out against following the recent 13-percent raise given to Missoula Schools Superintendent Alex Apostle.

According to the press release the current elementary tech levy is $302,000 and the high school levy is $450,000, both of which have been assessed annually since voters approved them in 2002 and 2003.

The May 7 elections will give voters the chance to increase the elementary school tech levy to $850,000, an increase of $548,000 a year.

Voters will also have the opportunity to increase the high school tech levy to $750,000, an increase of $300,000 a year.

The press release details the impact property owners would feel if both of these levies are passed; for a property assessed at a value of $200,000 the projected cost is $14.31 a year to pay for the elementary tech levy and $4.57 a year for the high school levy. If both levies are approved, it would mean a potential property tax increase of $18.88 a year. 

MCPS says the technology levies will pay for the purchase and replacement of computers and other devices like printers, projectors, software and web-based service licenses and fees and staff development for technology. 

MCPS reports the district maintains around 3,800 computers, 588 printers, 1000 interactive whiteboards and 370 iPads and Kindles across the district.  They state many of these items have to be replaced every 5-6 years. 

Additionally there will be five seats up for election on the Missoula County Public Schools Board of Trustees; four seats are K-12 representing the elementary and high school districts; one seat represents the Lolo, Woodman and DeSmet areas on the high school board. 

Individuals interested in a school board position must file by Thursday, March 28.

In order to vote you must be registered by Monday, April 8, 2013.  For more information on how to register to vote or to apply for a school board position click here.