Belgrade elementary school classroom

BELGRADE - Administrators are struggling to lock down funding after Tuesday's school elections dealt a blow to Belgrade Public Schools, with all three of the district's levies failing to be passed by the public.

The levies would have created funding for a general mill levy for the city's three elementary schools and technology levies for Belgrade High School and the elementary schools.

 The technology levies would have provided new computers for the schools, most of which are dealing with systems older ten years or older, according to the Interim Superintendent for Belgrade Schools, Godfrey Saunders.

The price tag for all three levies? $1.6 million.

Belgrade voters have only approved two school levies in the last twelve years, according to Saunders. But he says that doesn't mean they don't support education, referencing a $48 million bond that passed in February to pay for two new elementary schools, along with a handful of other projects.

He takes part of the blame for the failures on himself, saying that the problem may have been in the delivery.

"I don't think there's any one reason that it didn't pass," Saunders said on Thursday. "And so our goal for the future is to talk with folks and get an honest opinion for them as to why they voted the other way, and learn and then move forward."

Saunders also adds that the school board (which has a handful of new members after Tuesday's election) hasn't met since the levies failed, but they plan to work within their existing budget to get the projects accomplished.

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