Montana Public Radio

Billings Public Schools Face $4 Million Deficit, Propose Sweeping Cuts

Jan 17, 2020
Originally published on January 16, 2020 10:18 pm

The largest school district in Montana plans to cut up to 40 full time employees to make up for a more than $4 million budget deficit.

Billings Public Schools administrators are recommending cuts aimed at reading and math intervention programs, library programs, gifted and talented programs, music, general education, support staff and administrative positions.

Rachel Schillreff is president of the Billings Education Association, a teachers union representing 1,185 teachers employed by Billings Public Schools.

"Because the recommendations for cuts just came out last week, we’re looking at any and all possibilities and we’re discussing those with the district and they’re open to our input. Right now we haven’t identified other means of making up those budget shortfalls," Schillreff says.

Staff cuts would lower the deficit by $2.6 million dollars. The rest of the shortfall would be covered by a 10 percent reduction to building operational costs, for a total of $4.2 million in cuts.

No employees have received termination notices yet. The budget cut proposal will be discussed at the upcoming school board meeting Jan. 27.

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