Education News

May 8, 2014 10:00 AM by Lindsey Gordon - MTN News

Helena superintendent proposes closing some schools

HELENA - After eight meetings without coming to a consensus, Helena Public Schools superintendent Kent Kultgen brought forward a proposal that would close Hawthorne, Bryant, and Jefferson schools, resulting in relocating students.

The proposal presented would have the district sell five facilities, including Hawthorne and Bryant schools, saving the district over a million dollars. Jefferson would be used for district administration.

The district would then "invest" in eight elementary schools, increasing enrollment; the smallest would be Broadwater at 341 and the largest would be Smith at 460 students.

However, they would keep class sizes the same.

The cost of project would be $84.7 million, exceeding the district's bond capacity of $73 million.

The board could ask the Montana Legislature to increase capacity; if denied, they could build when projects are paid off.

The board will make a decision on the proposal at a May 20th meeting.

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