Is the district looking for grants? Why are they just relying on taxpayers to pay for this?
Yes! We are currently working on a very competitive grant from the state. Our district is able to apply for $750,000 for each district. If we receive one or both, we will be able to reduce the bond issue by that amount. The deadline for the grant is September 30th.
The district has been searching for grants to help offset costs for the taxpayers. Unfortunately, Montana’s tax structure for funding education puts the burden of public schools solely on local property owners, and there aren’t many infrastructure grants out there to help with building costs.
Also, grants have different requirements. Some require that matching funds are used. The grant money is great, but if you don’t have money to match, it does not help us get the grant. Some other grants have many requirements that make it difficult for a school district our size to receive an award.
About a year and a half ago, the district entered into a Performance Contract with Johnson Controls. This performance contract allowed the school district to replace most of the lights with LEDs and improved weatherization of most of the doors throughout the district. The cost of this project ( a little over $1 Million) is being paid for by the energy savings in the district. This was an important project to get much needed things without having to go to the taxpayers to pay for it.
We will continue to look for ways to offset the costs of taxes so we can provide safe and functional learning environments for our students.
Questions? Please Contact:
Stephen Schreibeis at 406-377-5339 or firstname.lastname@example.org