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Butte school district adjusts in face of budget cuts - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Butte school district adjusts in face of budget cuts

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BUTTE- Montana’s large budget cuts have Butte’s school district looking to fill funding gaps wherever it can.

“We’re the largest employers in town so if we were forced to making cuts it would be impactful to the whole city,” said Butte School’s Budget Director Dennis Clague.

Fortunately, the Butte school district did not have to make any cuts to its staff of more than 500. The school credits the passage of mill levies for keeping staff and programs intact.

“They cut a significant funding source for the district called school block grants and they re-appropriated that to some other group and that was about $1.6 million for the district annually, so to compensate for that we had to raise our mill levies,” Clague said.

The state also cut a funding source of about $80,000 called data for achievement that was used to pay for a computer technology staff member.

“We’ll have to fund that person out of our general fund, which again takes another $80,000 away from other programs - it’s kind of a trickle-down effect where we have to make adjustments in one place. It’s got to roll out somewhere,” Clague said.

While the passage of the mill levies may have made up for some of the budgetary shortfalls out of Helena, the school district credits teachers and staff for finding ways of coming up with more funding.

“But the educators are out there scouring the landscape trying to find out what grants are out there. They understand their role in how either succeeds or holds back success and I think they do a great job of serving the kids well,” he said.

For the next two years, Butte’s schools will run at status quo, until the state reexamines its budget

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