Enrollment Numbers Show Overcrowding Continues - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Enrollment Numbers Show Overcrowding Continues

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BILLINGS -

Preliminary enrollment numbers for high school students have decreased but kindergarten through 8th grade enrollment numbers continue to rise and continue to be an issue.

"In a normal situation, you hope that students go to their neighborhood schools," says Superintendent Terry Bouck. But over the last eight years, students have had to leave their neighborhood schools and go to schools that have enough room for them. "As we start moving students outside their neighborhood, it impacts the cost of transportation which it is certainly supported by taxpayers."

In the 2012-13 school year, kindergarten through 8th grades were 388 students over capacity. Preliminary numbers for the current school year show that number increased to 422.

"What it means is we're going to continue to have a problem creating space, finding places for these students, so that's obviously why we're running a bond," says Bouck.

The 122 million dollar bond would be used to build two new middle schools and renovate two existing elementary schools. For the owner of a $200,000 home, that would come out to $10.95 a month.

"And that allows us to bring all 6th graders up to the middle school once two new middles schools are built." Bouck says this will help solve the overcrowding problem School District 2 faces. "We want to get past this facilities issue and focus more on learning and teaching. That's the ultimate goal."

With about four weeks until Election Day, SD2 officials continue to seek the publics help to pass the bond.

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