For Immediate Release
August 19, 2015
Contact: Pad McCracken, Legislative Research Analyst, 406-444-3595
The School Funding Interim Commission is soliciting input from Montana residents through an online survey for its study of the funding of Montana's public elementary and secondary school system. Acknowledging that traveling to Helena can be expensive and time consuming, Sen. Tom Facey (D-Missoula) stated, "We are using an internet survey so Montanans can easily share their ideas and concerns about school funding; this will allow people to give the commission some direction about where to put our effort." Sen. Kris Hansen (R-Havre) echoed these comments, "The commissioners all have ideas about what can be accomplished this interim, but we need to hear from the public about this huge component of state government and budget." The brief survey, consisting of five questions, will be open until Sept. 9 and is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MT_SFIC_2015 Survey responses will be compiled and presented to the commission at its Sept. 23 meeting.
Legislators serving on the commission are Senators Elsie Arntzen, R-Billings; Tom Facey, D-Missoula; Kristin Hansen, R-Havre; Mary Sheehy Moe, D-Great Falls; Matthew Rosendale, R-Glendive; and Lea Whitford, D-Cut Bank; and Representatives Jeff Essmann, R-Billings; Don Jones, R-Billings; Kathy Kelker, D-Billings; Debra Lamm, R-Livingston; Edie McClafferty, D-Butte; and Susan Webber, D-Browning. The four public commissioners are former legislator Dave Lewis of Helena; Aidan Myhre, chair of the Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees; Patricia Hubbard, chief financial officer of Billings Public Schools; and Renee Rasmussen, superintendent of Bainville Public School.
The commission will meet Sept. 23 in Room 137 of the Capitol starting at 8 a.m. The School Funding Interim Commission was created by Senate Bill 128 and fulfilled an existing statutory requirement that the legislature, at least every ten years authorize a "study to reassess the educational needs and costs related to the basic system of free quality public elementary and secondary schools."
For more information on the commission’s activities and upcoming meeting, visit the commission’s website at www.leg.mt.gov/sfc