As the state mandated Election Day of May 7, 2013 approaches, I would like to clarify some questions that I have been asked in the past couple of weeks regarding the ballot. The walk in election will be held on May 7, 2013 at the Memorial Civic Center from noon to 8 PM. Ballots will be counted and election results will be available later that evening. Luther Elementary is conducting their own election this year so residents in the Red Lodge High School District/Luther Elementary will be able to vote at the Luther School. Five hundred and eighty absentee ballots have already been mailed to those signed up.
What is on the Ballot?
This year there is not a mill levy request to support the general fund for either the elementary or high school elementary district. The Board of Trustees has decided to request voter approval to support both our elementary and high school technology funds. The board felt that as we continue to progress rapidly into the use of various technology it would be imperative to be able to support this financially.
Are there trustees running for positions on the board?
There were two three-year board positions open. Steve Haman, an incumbent, along with Jack Ballard, Sandy Kelly and Gary Russell are on the ballot. John Elsberry has elected not to run for a sixth term.
Is this a permanent tax increase?
If approved, the 4.0 mills (two mills in the elementary and two mills in the high school) can be levied year after year. This amounts to $27,200 annually in the elementary and $31,902 annually in the high school. It is the responsibility of the board and administration to ensure an efficient and effectively run budget. The tax increase is $2.77 per district annually on a $100,000 home and $5.54 per district annually on a $200,000 home.
What does the technology fund budget support?
The technology fund is used only to support the technology needs of the school districts. These funds will be used to purchase computers, IPads, classroom projectors, classroom microphone systems as well as any other technology related devices to help with student learning. The fund can also be used to pay for our internet connections, computer wiring within the school as well as professional development for staff in the area of technology. Red Lodge Schools has an active technology committee that prioritizes the district needs and makes purchasing recommendations to the trustees for consideration.