The Belgrade district mill levy committee is up and running. The 21-person committee met last week in a get together Superintendent Candy Lubansky said facilitated “great conversation.”

The group talked about the background of school funding in Montana and why the district needs a levy. Lubanksy said the group hopes to educate the community about the gap that exists between state funding and the district’s needs.

The mill levy committee can campaign for voters to approve levies. School employees are only allowed to encourage people to vote; they cannot advocate for their own agenda.

Lubansky and Belgrade School Board Trustees agreed to from the committee last year after levies failed in the both the high school and elementary school. The district was forced to tighten its belt and make cuts to fund the additional six teachers needed to staff the new Saddle Peak Elementary School.

Levies in Manhattan also failed last year. Monforton Elementary School was able to pass a $2.9 bond measure in September. The bond will fund three classrooms and the expansion of the cramped lunchroom to accommodate the record number of students.

The Belgrade committee is brainstorming the most effective ways to reach community members about what the growing Belgrade School District needs to move into the future.

The group will meet again this Thursday in the Belgrade District Offices at 312 N. Weaver Street at 7p.m.