School District may escape state budget cuts

By: 
Ashley Roness
Star Staff Writer

Miles City Unified schools and other public schools in the state will likely not be impacted by the proposed state budget cuts, the school board learned at its meeting on Tuesday.

The state is facing a potential $227 million deficit due to a decline in state revenue blamed on the economic impact of the drought and the high cost of fighting dozens of wildfires throughout the state. 

As a result, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock last month ordered all state agencies to submit proposals to show how they would alter their budgets to reflect the 10 percent reduction in state funding. 

According to Elsie Arntzen, Montana state superintendent of public instruction, public schools won’t be impacted by the 10 percent budget cut proposed by Gov. Steve Bullock.

 That’s because a lot of public school funding is protected by the Montana Constitution. 

If there is a special legislative session to deal with the deficit, that could change, said Keith Campbell, Miles City superintendent of schools.

During a special session, Cambell said, state lawmakers could decide to change the rules.

“We don’t really want a special session. We don’t really want school funding cut any more. But we’ll see what happens,” Campbell said. 

The local school district is also facing a loss of funding due to declining enrollment. 

Overall attendance in grades K-15 dropped by 59 students this school year. See Thursday’s Miles City Star for a full story.

(Contact Ashley Roness at starnews@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)

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