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Feb 9, 2010 11:19 AM by Andrea Lutz

Canyon Elementary School to remain open

The monthly Columbia Falls School Board meeting was packed on Monday night with parents and teaching staff from Canyon Elementary, a school on the verge of closing.

Concerned residents came out in droves to pressure board trustees to save their school. The school board has developed a plan to save the school, but it involves cutting one position and combining grades.

The school district is facing a $500,000 budget shortfall and one solution is to close Canyon Elementary School. The district superintendent says the budget shortfall is due to declining enrollment over the years.

Canyon teachers say they want a music program back, but the district can't promise that at this time. But his new plan will keep the school at the accredited standards while still meeting the budget.

The new plan for Canyon Elementary School means it will say open, for now. This is just a one year plan and the board will vote on this proposal in the future.


(from February 8, 2010)

A small rural elementary school in Northwest Montana facing a $500,000 deficit, is grappling with the idea to close the school.

Canyon School in Hungry Horse serves about 130 students grades K through fifth grade and Monday night, the Columbia Falls school district will talk about the future of Canyon Elementary School, which could close because funding it tight in the district.

School District officials tell us they are reviewing the next school year's budget Monday night along with the subject of Canyon Elementary School's future.The Columbia Falls School District is seeing a $500,000 shortfall in next year's budget. They have to make some big cuts, and Canyon Elementary may be where they do it.

The district spends about $950,000 a year to operate the school-and with decreasing enrollment, they are getting less money from the government.

The plan would be to transfer kids to Columbia Falls schools instead. They would save nearly $1,000,000, but some employees are worried about the effect it would have on the Hungry Horse community.

District 6 has already held public hearings on the closure of the school but Monday night they don't expect to make a decision.

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