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Kalispell eyes tech levy for high schools

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Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 8:30 pm

The Kalispell School Board is considering asking voters to approve a technology levy that would provide upgrades at both Flathead and Glacier high schools.

After discussing levy options at length during Tuesday’s board meeting, trustees agreed by consensus to move forward with a technology levy.

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          Welcome to the discussion.


          • Thinker not sheep posted at 11:33 am on Tue, May 1, 2012.

            Thinker not sheep Posts: 4

            It's clear that most of you don't have kids attending these schools. I do. Overcrowding is terrible and something must be done. The teachers that they have had are excellent but there is no room and not enough resources to cover basic needs. Stop making this about politics and help FIX THE PROBLEM. Stop whining.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 5:56 pm on Fri, Feb 3, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            It is possible to deny the levy and still be a supporter of public education. Support doesn't mean "you spend the money how ever you want, and when you run out, we'll give you more."

            Voting yes DOES NOT mean "I support the kids and you don't." It means you think the request for more money is justified.

            Voting no is most likely tied to a) the economy b) the belief that what they already get is misspent. I hope the next 10 levy requests get turned down, so the school board can have the nuclear showdown with the teacher's union that they don't have the courage to have now. Remember 90%+ of the budget goes to SALARIES. The answer is to freeze the pay of anyone over 10 years experience, and cut pay around 8% across the board. They would then have plenty for the levy, and even some savings to put in the bank. That, and the teachers could live with the reality the rest of us do.

            You know, in the real world (where you are not a government employee), you can't get a guaranteed pay raise in most jobs, nor can you double your pay just by staying on the job without being promoted. Public sector employees (compared to most private jobs) get an awesome compensation package, without any tie to their performance.

          • Westvalley posted at 3:27 pm on Thu, Feb 2, 2012.

            Westvalley Posts: 100

            I'm going a little off subject here, but I would like to have it mandatory for anyone on the school board do spend at least 3 full days in the schools helping in the classrooms(elementary, middle and high school) since there are multiple elementary schools each board member would pick a different school so that all the schools get a visit. I also believe that the superintendent should have to pick one school a month to help out in the classrooms. This way they would have a better perspective as to what is going on in the schools and could manage the school system better. In many school systems around the country and in Montana there is a gap between the administrators and the teachers and staff at the schools, many administrators won't give the teachers the time of day. Schools are like businesses you can't be an absent business owner and expect to have a successful business the same goes for schools.

          • Squirrel posted at 8:51 pm on Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

            Squirrel Posts: 42

            There's lots of generalized complaining and a lack of faith in district administration noted here. I haven't been in the Flathead long enough to know all the ins and outs and history, but I'm learning. Given that it's highly unlikely there will be marked changes in leadership any time soon, what would it take, Photoguy et al, for you to believe that funds designated in a tech levy will actually go towards infrastructure and other things that directly effect kids and learning? What info do you need?

            I know some of you will not, for any reason, support any levies for education. I'm asking those of you who WANT to support public education, but for whatever reason, have lost faith.

            (One thing in life I've learned is that you need to know enough about an issue to ask the right questions. Since I've only been here 3 years and know I don't know... I'm asking you.)

          • photoguy posted at 5:18 pm on Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            I would vote yes, if I felt that I was investing in the kids, unfortunately I feel that I am investing in an administration heavy bunch of poor managers, who have not made good choices when it comes to getting the kids the best education possible.

          • sunrise777 posted at 3:06 pm on Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

            sunrise777 Posts: 16

            I believe the tech levy is a good investment, and you can look at our history, or world history to prove that education is foundational to any strong, modern economy. The global economy is shifting in this information age requiring technology be part of any solid plan for our kids (Beacon article cited tech companies hiring outside Flathead). I support the technology levy because I know we either believe in our kids and look at education as a long-term community investment, or we face the fact that an under educated community will cost us far more precious dollars in the long run. I believe everyone who has commented on this list would much rather invest in education, than pay far more in the future for prisons, welfare, and drug treatment programs. 3/4 of Montana prisoners didn't graduate high school; half are functionally illiterate (from literacy non-profit). Our grandparents believed in us enough to invest in our education, let's invest in our kids.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 2:05 pm on Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327


            Look again my friend. the top of the scale INCLUDING benefits (which is how compensation is computed) shows several teachers total package northwards of $75,000. Read the whole spreadsheet.

            And don't come back with "the benefits don't count." They sure do, WE HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM.

            Lies and misinformation my backside. I took a great deal of time to read that budget the last time you education types tried to get us to pay a shortfall, and detailed a great deal of it here on the Interlake comments section. I do know how to read a spreadsheet, and report the facts accurately.

            I'll debate the politics and thinking behind the whole education thing, but don't try to read PART of the information and then accuse me of the same.

            And don't worry, your "tech levy" will pass. It shouldn't, since the SD5 board would then finally make some substantive cuts, and the teacher's union would have to give concessions, and everyone would have to LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS (what an idea!), but it will pass.

            $62,500 is still too much anyway. If it were true that that was all they make. Btw, you have to go to more than one section of the spreadsheet to get the total. And if they are in extra curriculars, you have to go to 3 different sections.

          • rmf posted at 10:01 am on Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

            rmf Posts: 11

            Here is the link to district 5 salaries for teachers, so you have the facts.


          • rmf posted at 9:59 am on Wed, Feb 1, 2012.

            rmf Posts: 11

            Where do see that teachers in district 5 are making $75,000 per year? I looked on the district website and the highest paid teachers gets paid $62,895. That's with 17 years of experience and 75 credits past their BA, which teachers obtain with their own money. In addition, they get a stipend for $1687 for having a Masters, if obtained. That's a long ways from $75,000 you claim teachers are making. There aren't very many professions with people making less $65,000 per year with a Masters degree. On the flip side, first year teachers only make $28,122 in the district. I don't think any teachers are getting rich. Teachers earn a good salary in this valley but I feel they are well educated hand deserve the salaries they make.

            Your comments are untrue and unfounded. It's these types of false statements that create false rumors and perpetuates the negativity in this valley towards education. You have the right to vote down a levy, but don't do it by spreading lies and misinformation!

          • MfgMan posted at 5:36 pm on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

            MfgMan Posts: 345

            halycon, great post. The only comment I would add is that the union backed rules protect bad teachers by their very nature. That you haven't observed the act shows that these rules preemptively protect.

            Think of it this way...in a normal distribution, one should expect 3% to 6% in annual turnover of teachers due to poor performance. Since we don't, one can either assume that teachers don't fit in with societal averages, or they are being protected.

          • halcyon posted at 1:52 pm on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

            halcyon Posts: 46

            I'd be interested in drawing the conversation back to our local schools. I've seen a lot of posts where people are referring to perceptions about things going on at the national level, but not much about our local schools. Are the kid's learning? Is the system doing right by our kids and community? It it understandable that there is a lot of frustration about the current economic situation; but making idle suggestions about a paradigm shift now isn't going to solve the problems at hand.

            As for people who are calling for parents to foot the bill alone, I think a number of responses hit the nail on the head: Who paid for your education? It was the whole community you grew up in. Now it's our turn.

            I'm not buying the armchair administrators here who claim to have all of the facts and answers. It's easy to be a naysayer on an internet post. It's difficult to be on the school board and serve as the head of a large district. These people take their public mission seriously and are doing their best to deliver a quality education for our kids.

            As for the unions, I am not aware of a local instance where the union had protected a bad teacher or created a negative situation for our schools. Am I missing something?

          • Westvalley posted at 7:32 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

            Westvalley Posts: 100

            For a real eye opener as to why our education system in America is broken watch John Stossels Stupid in America, I watched it on TV and you can see it on utube. Between the Government and the unions our children don't have much of a chance.

          • Westvalley posted at 7:27 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

            Westvalley Posts: 100

            So janie are you willing to pay back ALL of the taxpayers that paid for Your education and your childrens education? That is how the Public school system works. Also not ALL the kids in school get a free meal and you really can't expect teachers to live in cottages and just receive their lodging and food in exchange they also have families to support unless you want to go back to the 1800's when a teacher couldn't be married or have children. The only thing I agree with you on is no more tenure for teachers if they are not doing their job then they should be fired with out the unions getting involved a school will not get rid of a teacher that is doing a good job they need them to attract more students so they can receive more money from the government which won't be much seeing how they keep cutting education and sending the money over seas.

          • info posted at 10:04 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            info Posts: 9

            The entire system of public services is supported with tax dollars. My point was that federal dollars come with their own set of rules. Lottery revenue has not come to schools for a number of years now.

          • janie posted at 6:55 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            janie Posts: 174

            $2.23 per yearf? huh have you all taken a look at your property taxes and how much goes to schools? and where does Federal money come from ? US now lets talk about the teachers having their own attorneys to sue US which they use the tax dollars to fund the attorneys. School trust lands and the lottery incomes all go to the teachers. People wake up and smell the coffee. $40mil. for a school that the paint hasnt' dried on and it is inadequate? It is time to privatize the school system and get away from teachers being State employees. Hire and fire on their abilities to produce. and I still say it isnt' the responsiblities of the taxpayers to pay for everyones child. is the one who has 6 children getting more bang or the people with one? We don't just educate them they get all their meals and free daycare to boot? what happened to the 3 R's and a teacher who lived in a cottage and got his lodging and food in exchange for being a teacher?

          • MontanaJim72 posted at 6:27 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            MontanaJim72 Posts: 225

            Paying for computer upgrades does not only help a minority of students. It affects every student. I doubt there is a week that goes by without EVERY student in a given school using a computer at some time. If you graduate from high school and can't operate a computer to some degree, you might as well resign yourself to a life time of poor paying jobs. Computer hard drives are not like books that can be used for many years. They can and do wear out, especially when they are being used as much every day as the computers in the schools are. Microsoft and Apple do not spend millions creating updated software programs and then give them away for free. Computer technology is as important as reading and writing for todays graduates.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 5:40 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            And by the way, WHEN is the public school system going to finally deliver on this whole tech savvy graduate thing? That horn has been blown for over a decade now, yet we still (supposedly) have tech jobs unfilled in the valley. You could tile the floors with new computers and software, but I seriously doubt the current education paradigm could do anything with it.

            The public school system (and especially the morally bankrupt teachers union) have been over-promising and under delivering for YEARS. "Give us more money and we'll bring test scores up, give us more money and we'll cut the teen pregnancy rate, give us more money and we'll stop the increasing dropout rate, blah blah blah etc etc etc." The public school system can't do what they claim they can, haven't done it since the 1960's. It's broke. Time to cut off the tap (meaning: no more levies), and make them work within their means. Giving them more money sure hasn't worked, I think giving less will. Necessity is the mother of invention.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 5:31 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            Yeah, real responsible spending your reserves 3 years into a down turn, Brilliant. Ivan Lorentzen said it best last spring at a meeting when they were thinking of cutting (GASP) extra-curricular activities and people opposed it "we can't keep kicking the can (serious budget cuts) down the road."

            Responsible would be slashing the salaries of teachers NOW and not waiting years to do it (do you really think a 20+ year teacher is worth $75,000 yearly?), budgeting a reserve (THERE IS NO LINE ITEM FOR SAVINGS NOW), and funding the technology needs through BUDGET CUTS like the rest of us have to do.

            90+% of the district budget GOES TO TEACHER SALARIES. THAT is where cuts need to be made, and make no mistake, they HAVE to be made. We aren't cutting a fat hog anymore.

          • info posted at 1:00 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            info Posts: 9

            Taxes are levied on property so shopping out of town will not have any effect on the collection of a tax levy However, the district salaries are right around $30Million dollars a year most of which is spent several times over in the businesse in the town of Kalispell. District employees are some of those people who have lost their homes in this economy as well, they are not immune to the hardships of this economy. The reading grant comes from the federal government and carries some very specific requirements and cannot be used for the general operation and maintenance of a school district. The district has indeed used money that they had in reserve for those unforeseen expenses over the last couple of years. That is what responsible people do, make sure they have some money set aside for the unexpected. Now those reserves are gone. Attacking the superintendent and the district employees is not going to solve the issue of not having enough teachers to keep students in all day kindergarten or give them a space in which to be educated or provide technology to high school students as they prepare for college or to go out in the world to be productive citizens.

          • Westvalley posted at 12:58 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            Westvalley Posts: 100

            what people need to think about and look into what exactly is the money being spent on before deciding so many people hear the school needs or wants more money and immediately say NO! The school systems and the kids are stuck in the middle and are getting hurt by it, the Government says NO to education and cuts funding to it the tax payers say no to education and vote down levy's and bonds. Our education system is hurting when you say NO to education you are saying YES to high school drop outs that go on welfare, get locked up for committing a crime, have children out of wed lock ALL of which cost us the tax payers far more money than the levy's and bonds. If you say yes to education the kids can become productive members of society. Even if you don't have kids in school these kids WILL effect you directly or indirectly positively or negatively. Take a good hard look at what the schools are asking for before deciding on supporting it or not, like it or not these kids are our future and they need our help.

          • krispistofferson posted at 12:47 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            krispistofferson Posts: 265

            There's nothing like a little discussion on education funding to bring out the mouth-breathers. It's as predictable as the rising sun and entertaining in a bizarre sort of way.

          • BigMtnSkiier7 posted at 12:27 pm on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            BigMtnSkiier7 Posts: 2

            TallTree, they didn't just "find" money to cover costs after the levy was voted down--they had to dip into their general fund, and use money that is supposed to go toward staff salaries, etc. And yes, they did receive a large reading grant, but it still falls short to the millions of dollars cut from their budget at the state and federal level.

            It's not that the school board doesn't have money, it's that they don't have enough to cover all of the basic costs for their students. When levies fail, they have to use money delegated for other things to cover that cost--which equals layoffs. I don't even have kids, but was able to find out this information simply by reading local and national newspapers, and asking a few questions.

            Try attending a school board meeting--all of this information is public and available to read--you might understand better how much school districts across Montana are hurting because of federal cuts

          • RIGHTOFCENTER posted at 11:24 am on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            RIGHTOFCENTER Posts: 181

            I knew once Tom Clark got elected to the School Board again that it wouldn't be long before more spending and taxing was proposed. It matters who we elect to office, when you elect tax and spend liberals, expect taxing and spending!!!!

          • mom posted at 11:22 am on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            mom Posts: 629

            I just heard a good idea, it's something I WOULD gladly vote to fund. How about MANDATORY drug screening for ALL high school students. To be fair let's include all teachers, admins, and parents even. Let's figure exactly WHO ALL is part of the problem in school and society. I'll help pay for that!

          • mtmama2011 posted at 9:21 am on Sat, Jan 28, 2012.

            mtmama2011 Posts: 83

            Who will be paying this 'tech levy'? And how will it affect the schools if people start shopping out of town to avoid having to pay it?

          • TallTree posted at 8:16 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            TallTree Posts: 74

            Let's see... the last time a school levy was voted down the school then 'found' money to cover costs when they earlier said there was no more money in their budget and the taxpayers REALLY needed to pass the levy else the world would end.

            Last week the school got $140,639 in 'free' money for a reading program.


            The schools seem pretty creative in finding money. With all the 'free' money the state and federal governments throw at education I'm sure the school district can find more 'free' money instead of asking economically hard pressed taxpayers for more and more money. Or the school district can tighten their belt like the rest of us and delay upgrading and getting new stuff.

            I'm sick and tired of the school officials and their scare tactics.

          • mom posted at 7:43 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            mom Posts: 629

            Well said, Photoguy. I feel fleeced also, like when some charity wants me give only nineteen cents a day to feed this poor little kid... and eighteen cents of it goes toward gassing up the director's Lear jet...

          • campo posted at 7:25 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            campo Posts: 136

            "Granted I grew up in the non-tech era,"

            "but there comes a time when you have to see that putting a levy on everyone for the minority is not in the best interest in this community."

            ...says the guy probably looking forward to collecting his social security check....


          • flyfish posted at 7:22 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            flyfish Posts: 204

            Its very unfotunate that Superintendent Schottle would make a statement like she did about making it "tough on the community". When the district needs to pass a levy at the High School level to avoid major cuts in programs and staff, this comes across as blackmail or extortion.
            From what I have observed there is a very real disconnect between the Administration and School Board as to what what a very large portion of our taxpayers are going through. The Administrators and school principals have very large salaries and benefit packages along with job security. Many of the board members are wealthy or are either government employees or on government pensions. They may know someone who is having a tough time but they have never experienced it themselves. When they talk about this only adding 30 or 40 dollars a year to property taxes they just can't understand why someone who may be losing there home would vote against the kids.
            If this was truely about the kids most people would vote for a tax increase to help with their education. In reality this levy is mainly needed to offset the increase in wages of teachers from steps and lanes. Last year the teachers and administrators did not have a wage increase and they have never missed an opportunity to let everyone know. I hate to tell them this but very few private sector employees have recieved a raise in the past 4 years, in fact most have either lost their benefits or had major cuts in pay. Many 2 income families are now down to one income or the husband is working out of the area.
            I have never voted aginst a school levy in my life, but I will this time, even though I have 3 kids in the schools. Until this attitude that is so pervasive in this district changes I cannot see any way a High School levy will ever pass.

          • Citizen Sam posted at 6:35 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            Citizen Sam Posts: 1

            Why do we need this? Sounds to me like its self serving and the school is trying to become liuke the community college. Whatever happened to the basic education? If these kids want a leg up on society when they graduate, then I think the school system needs to implement a way they can achieve this without making it a public burden. Granted I grew up in the non-tech era, and had to learn on my own. Maybe that is what should be offered through the school is a fee for service structure if the kids require anything above basic education. I'm not happy to see my tax dollars wasted on a system that feels society owe's the children it a better education just because technology is involved. Let the parents support their kids in this endeavour and I'll bet we see a higher graduation rate. Maybe - and thios is just a thought - have the parents enroll their kids at the local community college to learn the technology trade - at least the basics. It's their kids future - not mine - and if their interested in making their kids successful, then they better be willing to pay for it. I'm not against education, but there comes a time when you have to see that putting a levy on everyone for the minority is not in the best interest in this community.

          • libra42 posted at 6:35 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            libra42 Posts: 461

            You can't compare a levy with a charitable fundraiser. At a fundraiser, you have a choice. With a levy, you are obligated or they will take your house.

            Come to think of it, why not have a big fundraiser? I'd get right behind that.

          • photoguy posted at 5:55 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            The Flathead is not against education, The Flathead is against poor planing and choices, one example was set a couple of years ago, when the County Attorney and the Superintendent decided that an individual that embezzled money from the distinct should just pay it back, problem is she told us, that she only took about
            10K, when in truth she took about 60K.

            We have a Super, that it seems as if at least once a year, she is considering a new job, but always "turns it down" It seems to me, perhaps once the offer is made, the offering district withdraws the offer.

            I am tired of being blamed for standing up for my right to say no to wasteful spending, I am tired of the "its only $2.23 a year, but compounded over all of the other "Its only this much per year" it has added up to quite a large sum of money! I for one am tired of being fleeced by those who say they need more! I need more, but it have not come to fruition as of yet. I will continue to vote NO on any new levy as long as we still have the same people in charge as we have had for many years now.

            The Flathead cares about education, we just don't care about being lied to, misrepresented and seeing nothing coming out of the schools for the investment we are already making. There will be no yes vote from my household and I will work as hard as I can to convince others to vote the same way until such time as things change.

          • BigMtnSkiier7 posted at 5:32 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            BigMtnSkiier7 Posts: 2

            Janie, that's pretty selfish reasoning don't you think? That's like showing up at one of the many local fundraisers the Flathead has hosted for individuals who need help with medical bills, etc., and telling that person to pay for it themselves--and not ask anybody for help. Who do you think helped pay for your education when you were in school? Taxpayers. We're talking maybe an extra five or ten dollars a year, to give these students the education they deserve.

          • libra42 posted at 5:04 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            libra42 Posts: 461

            There is a mistaken idea out there that the quality of education is dependent on the amount of money spent.

            We already spend more per student than any other country in the world, except Switzerland. Somehow, we need to start getting more bang for the buck. We also need to find sources of revenue other that the already heavily pounded property owner.

            Keep an eye on the unions!

          • JMGriz posted at 4:37 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            JMGriz Posts: 57

            Wow Janie, what a rediculous statement. Because you didn't have kids means you have no interest in better educating our youth?? That's like saying "I didn't break the law for the criminals, I'm not chipping in to keep them in jail, cut um' loose!" Parent or not, the level of education at our high schools DIRECTLY effects every one of us at some point in our lives. The kids don't have a choice in the matter, but everybody else does. This isn't a grant to increase salaries for administrators, it's to upgrade equiptment to better educate our up and coming youth, our FUTURE. Easy decision, pay the extra $2.23 a year, and quit being such a hardass...

          • sunrise777 posted at 4:23 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            sunrise777 Posts: 16

            I would just say toward dust in the wind's comments that nobody questioned supporting every commentator on this list when they were growing up. Is it fair to tell this generation that they can't have access to an equal level of education when the generation before us paid our way? I know people are hurting, but if we ever want to recover economically in this country, we need to recognize that an educated population is foundational to both an active democracy, and a vibrant economy.

          • janie posted at 2:21 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            janie Posts: 174

            You birthed them then you educate them. Us of who have paid for every child and had none don't feel it is our responsibility. maybe if everyone paid their own way they may think before procreating.

          • dust in the wind posted at 2:02 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            dust in the wind Posts: 2

            As a parent I want the best education possible for my children. I need to ensure that they have the necessary skills for the future, and there is no doubt that technology will play a big role in that. My kids are currently being educated in overcrowded classrooms or in hallways because education is currently underfunded, and it is not their fault.

            My kids are important to me and I want to give them what they deserve - an education that allows them to be prepared for life ahead. The Flathead valley currently has technology jobs unfilled indicating that there is a need to equip students to be able to meet this demand.

            I am going to support education for the kids in this community because they deserve it.

          • james posted at 1:56 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            james Posts: 516

            wages are down , unemployment out of sight, property values way down , taxes way up, time all government pulled in their guts and tightened there over sized belts

          • Squirrel posted at 1:31 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            Squirrel Posts: 42

            Costs keep increasing, demands on the budget keep increasing (think federal and state mandates, general inflation, etc), and the community needs to give something to get something.

            Scare tactics aside (even the true ones, like poor education = unemployment = increasing crime rate), technology in schools is different from technology in your homes. To meet the needs of all learners, learning software is purchased. Much of that requires updates to the hardware or it won't work. To meet the data accountability requirements, they need complex database systems and reporting capabilities - and the data requirements keep changing, so the software needs changing or updating... To keep up with the changes in hardware and software, the tech staff needs to be trained and continually educated. And someone needs to train the teachers in how to use the stuff with kids.

            The "cloud" can and does help reduce costs, but to access the cloud, you still need updated equipment and functioning servers. Everything costs money - at least educating kids is something productive.

            While I am sure I can find things to trim in the budget, they are nickels and dimes. The education budget is tight. Schottle is not paid extravagantly for what she does - she's paid more than many here in the Flathead, but she has to have more training and education, and deal with more BS than most of us in the community will ever have to.

            I might suggest KSD 5 be more transparent with budget - and maybe with job descriptions of admin - so people can see what's up and ask questions. Maybe some in the community will have constructive ideas to streamline. Remember, kids aren't widgets - schools have to take ALL eligible students - and educating everyone costs real dollars.

            I think it's fair for KSD to ask for the levy. I will vote to support it.

          • Independentthinkermt posted at 1:12 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            Independentthinkermt Posts: 395

            Just because the last one was APPROVED in 2007, doesn't mean that was the last time they asked.

          • sunrise777 posted at 1:10 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            sunrise777 Posts: 16

            Every voice needs to be heard here, but the belief that firing administrators would instantly solve budget and staffing problems is a misperception. Administrators are the ones who look at achievement data, make sure budgets match expenditures, and report to the community. Again, a levy is a "request" from the community, not a bill.

          • info posted at 1:02 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            info Posts: 9

            I am not a teacher either, but I do believe that teachers also have a right to their voice. I am,however, an advocate for public education of which I am a product and even though I was raised in the poorest community in the State of Montana I will be voting for the levy. The last levy passed in Kalispell was in 2007. That does not translate into asking for money every year. Costs go up, as I state before I think Kalispell Schools has been very frugul with their tax payer money.

          • 888111 posted at 1:02 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            888111 Posts: 541

            you can cry all you want no no no,raise the money privately, another levy, not everyone in this valley is making what the administrators are making,and reading what the trustees want,i about vomited,40 million remember glacier high,two schools,wow,and it never ends

          • Red Green posted at 12:51 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            Red Green Posts: 207

            How about a technology FEE. Paid for by parents and donors who support the programs and less fortunate that cannot afford the fee??? Parents pay a $190.00 a year technology fee. Corporations and other donors can donate what ever they can to a fund that will pay the fee, on a sliding scale, for those kids who cannot afford all or part of the fee. No doubt most parents spend that much on a birthday or Christmas gift every year. If you've got a Wii, X-box or iPhone, then I think you can afford an annual tech fee for your kids.

            Do not misconstrue my comments to mean that I don't think tech education isn't important. I just think the schools are too quick to call us to the polls and ask for levies. Clearly, many of us feel that the schools aren't demonstrating the "belt-tightening" that everyone else has had to do. Parents universally will vote for these levies and in doing so saddle the rest of us with a bill we can't afford. Instead, let these parents pay a fee for these costly tech programs and invest where their kids are. By the way, I'm typing this on an 9-year old PC that I take to the repair shop instead of buying new every two years.

          • rmf posted at 12:30 pm on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            rmf Posts: 11

            You're making the assumption that I'm a teacher...I'm pro education. I don't think I would be where I'm at in my life without the opportunities provided to me by public schools and by the teachers that had a positive impact in my life.
            I think you're misinformed on teacher tenure. Tenured teachers can be fired, but there has to be cause. I believe a nontenured teacher can be nonrenewed without a reason. If teaching is so easy why do 50% of teachers move to different careers within the first five years? If it's so easy why not get a teaching degree and get in the classroom? That 25K-30K salary for a beginning teacher with a bachelor's degree is outrageous. Is are society really attracting the best candidates into education when we continue to pay educators poor salaries?

          • Independentthinkermt posted at 11:53 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            Independentthinkermt Posts: 395

            Nobody has turned "sour" on education. It's the fact that they are always asking for more, more, and more. I understand, occasionally, needing something fixed, or even something new. But, all the time? I don't care what you teachers say, your job isn't that hard. Step up to the plate, and take responsibility. It would be nice to have a job where I can't ever get fired, cause I've been here to long. Where not even poor performance will get me fired. Never on my life has that been explained to me. If you aren't good, you should ne fired. I have 4 children in school, and every week, one of them needs $20, or a new shirt, blah, blah, blah. What do they spend their money on, these schools. It costs me a small fortune to send my kids to a "free" school. Make due with what you have, just like everyone else. Thanks.

          • rmf posted at 10:51 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            rmf Posts: 11

            I think it's easy for people to take shot at administrators and the idea that the district is top heavy. Flathead and Glacier have 8 administrators for the two schools. That equates to one administrator for about every 350 students. How many of you have walked the halls with a principal, had to deal with parental concerns, or had handle discipline for 350 students? I don't think most people in this community have a clue of the amount of paperwork that administrators do or the qualifications and dedication it takes to be successful in these jobs.
            I find it sad the negativity that this community has towards education right now. In the past five or six years Kalispell has turned very sour towards education. I feel the Interlake has been instrumental in the change in attitude towards education with focus on negative reporting. There are amazing things and great successes that happen in our schools all over the valley everyday, but that's not what we talk about or focus on in the Flathead Valley.

          • retiree posted at 10:35 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            retiree Posts: 63

            Seems like just yesterday we failed this same type of attempt at extortion by School District Five. But from the comments already made, the people are getting smarter. Don’t let the biggest bully in this county take any more of your money….. VOTE NO! That’s my mantra…And you are absolutely right, Janie, Darlene Schottle should be removed - it’s a grave waste of $115,000.00 that could be put to better use and maybe upgrade some of the technology she so fervently promotes.

          • janie posted at 10:20 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            janie Posts: 174

            info ? sounds like a teacher

          • sunrise777 posted at 10:11 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            sunrise777 Posts: 16

            When schools ask for money from the community in the form of a levy, it does not represent a deficit in spending, but a community request for a needed investment. Sometimes this is for building repairs, sometimes for other needs. I recently read that there is job growth in the local technology field, but these companies have to look outside of the the Flathead to find applicants. A hundred years ago technology was not a component of the school budget because it did not exist. The reality is that the economy as a whole is changing, and if we are going to change with it, we need to address technology as a key component of this change. Nobody likes to pay taxes, but this is an investment in our kids and our economic future.

          • janie posted at 9:41 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            janie Posts: 174

            "The other is maybe we need to make it tough on the community because we need space. " I am appaulled by this ???? I think Superintendent Darlene Schottle needs to be fired for this statement. What is it with schools and teachers that they are never statisfied with the money the community gives them they are the spoiled child that always wants more????? I say out with Schottle. I will start the petition to have her removed.

          • info posted at 9:29 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            info Posts: 9

            Schools are funded by property taxes as designed by the Montana State Legislature. It has been that way for 100 years. The idea being that every child in the great state of Montana will have the same educational opportunity regardless of where they live. Kalispell Schools have been very prudent over the years. They can no longer get the job of educating children done right with the revenue they have. It is time for an increase in order to meet classroom sizes set by school accreditation standards and provide sound technology education to high school students. Hopefully the people of Kalispell will see the merit in that.

          • Independentthinkermt posted at 9:06 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            Independentthinkermt Posts: 395

            Sounds like they want to make it "tough on the community." Uh-oh, that sounds kinda like a little kid. Maybe they should get out once in awhile. You know, hang out with adults.

          • Mommy Dearest posted at 8:51 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            Mommy Dearest Posts: 846

            Sounds like they ought to read the paper and look at the ads for the local TECH COMPANIES offering cloud services! The day of go it alone tech departments are over!

          • ScottRD posted at 8:02 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            ScottRD Posts: 40

            Sorry School District, The Tax Payers are tapped out, It is nice what you want to do, but it is time to find other way to pay for it and not ask the Tax payer for everything you want on your wish list.

          • mom posted at 7:49 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            mom Posts: 629

            I'd rather give more to the private schools that hold their students and parent volunteers to a higher standard, something this world needs.

          • mypetie posted at 6:50 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            mypetie Posts: 36

            Must agree with jeancalvinus and franklinderman the schools need to learn to budget like all the rest of us i want a new car guess what not in the budget so I dont get one check into some of the salaries of the higher up maybe they should take a cut to free up some money for the schools haha BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET like the rest of us dont vote for a levy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • jeancalvinus posted at 5:06 am on Fri, Jan 27, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            So they finally have the gumption to try a levy again. Hopefully, the voters have the same backbone they did when they sent the last one down in flames.

            CUT YOUR BUDGET to make room for the expenditure. That's what us folks in the real world do. If WE hit the boss up for a raise, we just get shot down. Hopefully "the boss" will shoot you folks down too.

          • franklinderman posted at 9:52 pm on Thu, Jan 26, 2012.

            franklinderman Posts: 1

            Perhaps the board should consider reducing the amount of administrators to fund technology. There are many redundant administrative titles. Those positions can be consolidated. I find it hard to swallow asking taxpayers for more money when Darlene Schottle is making $116,000+ plus perks per year. Add in the superfluous administration, you can certainly make up for shortfalls. Using the guise of a "technology" levy is a cheap tawdry spin to overpay top-heavy administration in School District 5 and in the two high schools.


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