Great Falls

Jan 8, 2014 5:39 PM by Tara Grimes (tara@krtv.com)

Great Falls Public Schools want to gather input from public on budget

GREAT FALLS - Great Falls Public Schools will hold a meeting Thursday night to begin gathering public input on the 2014-2015 school year budget, as well as to educate residents on issues surrounding the budget.

Almost every Monday and Thursday for the next three months, administrators and board members will speak on various topics.

These include how the budget process works, how the district spends its money, and what kinds of things are out of the district's control that could impact funding.

They will also gather opinions from community members on where they feel money should be spent during the next budget cycle.

"It's real important to have that public participation so that we have an open, accountable process so that we're good stewards of our tax payer's money," Superintendent Tammy Lacey said.

All meetings will be held at Paris Gibson Education Center Cafeteria from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Below is a list of the dates of those meetings. Each meeting will include open comments and input from the public, as well as answering questions from the previous meeting.

January 9, 2014 (Thursday) Revenue and Reserve Presentation:
Welcome and overview of intent to have public meetings soliciting the public's input and our desire to be communicative and responsive to the public. Presentations on estimated state revenue and reserve information. NOTE: this meeting was originally scheduled for Monday, January 6th, but has been moved to January 9th.

January 20, 2014 (Monday) Macro Budget Presentation:
Presentations on total budget breakdown and overview of the issues impacting student education.

January 30, 2014 (Thursday) Projections and Stakeholder Inputs:
Short comments on projections (tax increases, cost variances, personnel changes, etc.) from such agencies as: City of Great Falls, Cascade County, PPL, MAFB, Northwestern Energy, Cigna, GFDA, Chamber of Commerce, and others as needed.

February 6, 2014 (Thursday) Projections from Federal Government:
Comments regarding projected federal revenues. Topics to include: sequestration, special education, impact aid, and security.

February 20, 2014 (Thursday) Projected Changes to the Budget:
An updated state revenue projection will be provided. Presentations on expected changes in insurance, payroll, utilities, cost of living, union, steps and lanes, mandated programs.

March 3, 2014 (Monday) Final Budget and Recommendations:
Summarization of the final recommended budget.

March 10, 2014 (Monday) Board Meeting:
Board action with opportunity for public comment as provided by open meeting laws. Next steps follow based on state timelines.

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