Great Falls Public Schools have had to make some heavy decisions over the past several days, after being denied their $1.5 million dollar levy earlier this month.
Additionally, they have had to make federal budget cuts, resulting in $500,000 dollars in staff reductions.
After losing roughly 9 full-time employees to the federal budget cut, Great Falls Public School's is now taking other extreme measures to meet the $1.5 million dollar state budget cut.
• Administration: $35,000
• Classified Support Staff: $103,745
•Professional/ Teaching Staff: $ 743,193
•Shifts to Other Sources: $492,000
• 10% of High School Budget: $80,000
• Supplies: $111,425
• Grand TOTAL: $1,565,363
A total of 13 staff has lost their positions due to the state budget cut including: 1 supervisor, 2 environmental hands-on educational program teachers, 2 gifted education teachers, 1 high-school librarian, 2 high-school English teachers, 2 high-school math teachers, 1 high-school health instructor, 1 elementary school health instructor, 1 middle school teachers, and 1 tech coach.
Thankfully, through arbitration and the retirement of other employees, 12 of these staff members were able to be moved around and fill other roles within the public school's system.
While jobs were saved and positions changed, this left voids in the classroom; resulting in an even greater impact on the students.
According to GFPS Superintendent Tammy Lacey, "The levy failure certainly impacts students the most. I think there is potential for impacts in student achievement. There’s just not as many opportunities for individualized instruction."
As a result of more budgets cuts, student's success and achievements will be closely monitored to ensure that regardless of the lack of resources, they are receiving the best education possible.
With the 2018-19 school year budget in place, the path after is still unclear.
However, Superintendent Lacey stressed that student success is, and always will be, a number one priority.