Laurel School Board and Laurel residents discuss the future of L - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Laurel School Board and Laurel residents discuss the future of Laurel Public Schools

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LAUREL, Mont. -

Overpopulation has become a problem in the Laurel school district. Laurel Middle School has missed accreditation two years in a row because of the teacher to student ratio.

"If this is our third year of not meeting it we get put in a deficient category," Superintendent Linda Filpula said. "Then the state can come in and guide you."

When the state gets involved, this means programs get cut.

"All the fun stuff," Filpula said. "All the stuff kids like to engage in."

Starting with things like athletic programs.

"You would need to cut things that are not essential although we all know those are extremely important things to provide students with a well rounded education," Filpula said.

But some parents say they don't believe the addition of another school will solve the districts problems.

 Over the past five years, data shows about 42 new students per year. The addition of another school would open up room for about 550 new students.

"So when you do that, really in 13 years we're going to reach max capacity," Parent and Laurel resident Mike Creeden said. "Where as we're going to be paying for a bond for 20 years."

The district also says it's operating at 100-percent efficiency, which means it has no extra money.

Creeden said this means there will be no money to operate a new school.

"We need to make sure that when we build this new building, we need to have the staff, the people, the maintenance. Everything that goes into maintaining a new school," Creeden said.

Which means a possible mill levy in the future. However....

"We could potentially be running a mill levy whether the bond passes or not," Filpula said.

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