School board may seek operational levies from voters

The Miles City Board of Unified Trustees voted unanimously Monday to hold trustee elections in the elementary and high school districts this spring. Trustees are also considering placing operational levies for each district on the ballot. 

According to Superintendent Keith Campbell the trustees up for election are Don Hofmann, Bob Wagner and Terry Annalora. 

Hofmann represents the high school district, and Wagner and Annalora represent the elementary and high school districts. 

The closing date for board filing is March 23. 

According to Campbell, the operational levy would be for increasing or maintaining the school budgets at the elementary or high school.

“Basically, we wouldn’t run an operational levy unless our budgets went down due to decrease in enrollment and cuts to our budgets made in the legislative session,” said Campbell. “We would need to maintain out current budget level in order to keep the same programs and staffing.”

Costs of providing the same services rises each year, Campbell explained.

“If our budget decreases then we have to ask taxpayers for more to make up the differences,” said Campbell.

The money from an operational levy would go to budgeted funds like salaries, supplies, maintenance, etc. 

“It goes to meet all our obligations that are needed to run the district,” said Campbell. 

The decision on whether or not to run operational levies has not yet been made. 

Also discussed at the meeting were the Montana High School Association’s (MHSA) proposals. 

The MHSA annual meeting was held Jan. 16 in Great Falls. The five proposals were voted on with three of the five passing.

According to Athletic Director Mike Ryan, the first proposal was to extend the term of the Montana School Board Association (MTSBA) representative on the MHSA Executive Board.

This proposal was approved. 

The second proposal was to amend eighth-grade participation.

“They wanted to amend it to exclude football but the committee said that it would change the proposal to such an extent and because schools didn’t have an opportunity to discuss the change they couldn’t amend it,” said Ryan. 

According to Ryan, it went to the voting schools in the form it was in and it wasn’t approved. 

The original proposal would have given an eighth-grade student the right to participate in any sport if it was approved by the school board. 

“I’m assuming what they’ll do next year they’ll draft a proposal that would exclude football. And if they do that I’m assuming it’ll pass,” said Ryan. “It gets closer each year.”

The third proposal addressed the transfer rule and was approved. 

The old transfer rule is that when a student transfers to a new school they are ineligible to play varsity for 90 days. They are allowed to play junior varsity. The 90-day figures was established back when a school had to have 180 days of classes. The new regulation would change the waiting period to the number of instruction days in the current semester. 

“They would take the number of instruction days a school has and divides that number by two,” said Ryan.

The proposed amendment to the jewelry rule was not approved. 

The current rule is that no jewelry that includes visible body piercings are allowed in any sport.

The proposal would have had each sport go to their own rule books for the jewelry rule. The rationale was that there are some sports in which wearing jewelry is not a safety issue, and does not have an impact on the contest.

The final proposal involved team travel allowance and was approved.

The next meeting is slated for Mar. 14 at 7 p.m.