217 N. 27th St. Rm. 101
P.O. Box 35002
Billings, MT 59107-5002
Thank you for the efforts
so many of you made to
pass the School Bond.
Billings voters have gifted us
with a rejuvenation of this District.
Please savor this victory!
On September 17, 2013, the BEA Representative Council took up the question of this Association's support of the District bond issue. After an open and frank debate, the Council voted to support the bond. A near unanimous vote marked the beginning of a course of action which requires a monumental effort from the BEA.
Ballots will be mailed to active voters (see info below) starting October 18. The election closes and ballots will be counted on November 5.
Here's what you need to do:
#1 DO NOT PUT IT IN THE MAILBOX SATURDAY OR MONDAY! To be 100% certain your ballot will get to the Election Office to be counted do one of the following.
#2 ONLY ON TUESDAY, Nov. 5, between 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. take your ballot to one of the drop off locations set up by the Election Office. They are:
#3 Bring your ballot to the BEA office Friday, Monday or Tuesday (Nov. 1, 4 or 5) before 5 p.m. and we will make sure it gets to the Election Office. Make sure your ballot is signed and sealed in its envelopes.
#4 Call Karen Moses at 860-1111 to arrange for possible pick-up and delivery or other options.
Have you voted YES for the School Bond and mailed your ballot? Ballots must be put in a mailbox by Friday, Nov. 1, to assure they arrive at the Election Office in time to be counted! Mail your ballot by Nov. 1st! Tell others!
Help us on Sunday, Nov. 3, at the BEA office from 3-5 p.m. We will call voters about how to get their ballots to the Election Office by Tuesday, Election Day! Call Karen Moses at 860-111 or just show up at the BEA office (510 N. 29th, use the alley entrance).
In costume or not, join us for a fun evening amongst all the ghosts and goblins! Stop by Yes for Kids HQ (corner of 6 Ave. and N. 30th) on Thursday, Oct. 31, anytime after 4 p.m. You will be assigned a neighborhood to cover.
Why the Working as the volunteer co-chairs of Yes for Kids this past year has been a rewarding and educational experience. We are very proud of how the success of the mill levies approved this spring is already positively benefiting children in our public schools. Moreover, we are pleased that our accreditation concerns have significantly improved thanks to our community's overwhelming support for the mill levies.
With just a few days until ballots for the school bond must be returned, we are writing to share a few additional thoughts about why we believe it is important for our community to take action today by approving this bond.
It seems that our country, and to some degree our community, is at a crossroads with how we come together to make major decisions that we believe will move us forward. There are always pros and cons with any major decision such as the request for this $122 million school bond as proposed.
We personally have invested a significant amount of time learning the benefits of the school bond, including using bond revenue versus reserve levy funding to address $36 million of our $100 million deferred maintenance. In the end, when you factor in the combination of higher up front monthly cost to tax payers, delaying some maintenance projects, added cost for inflation due to delays, and a lack of assurance that funds will be spent on specific maintenance needs, we feel it is prudent to use the bond revenue for this purpose. This is just one example of how important it is to become informed about the facts and to carefully assess the benefits of the bond as proposed.
Our school board trustees and administration have gone to extraordinary lengths to fully engage our entire community with over 200 public meetings to develop a balanced approach for this proposed bond. We respect the thoughtful and rigorous process that has been diligently underway for 16 months. We are encouraging you to join us in placing trust in the experienced and dedicated leaders of this thoughtful process by voting Yes for Kids by November 5.
Thank you for your support of our efforts with Yes for Kids and for supporting the bright future of our community.
Jim & Heidi Duncan
Yes for Kids 2013
The ballots have been mailed and the clock is ticking. Help call voters to make sure the ballots get off the kitchen counter and into the mailbox. Here are the days and times:
We will be calling from the BEA. Bring your cell phone and charger. We will have food, call lists, scripts and talking points, everything you need, including the kitchen sink!
It is critical to get those YES votes in the mailboxes. Call Karen Moses at 860-1111 or just show up at the BEA office!
Ballots for the School Bond Election were mailed to voters on Friday, Oct. 18. (If you do not find one in your mailbox by Friday, Oct. 25, call the Election Office at 256-2740.)
Be sure to vote! And do it soon! Remember to follow the directions: vote, put the ballot in the blue envelope, put the blue one in the white envelope, sign the white one on the back, put a 46 cent stamp on the front, and drop it in a mailbox! Oh, one last thing:
VOTE YES! for the School Bond!
The timing is good! Billings is growing! We are a progressive community. This investment in our public education system will add to our community's national ranking.
As the community grows (businesses & residences increase), the tax base grows and the cost of the bond is shared by more people. This reduces each person/business' share of the cost.
Interest rates are at historic lows. This investment in our public education system will increase the value of homes and businesses as Billings continues to grow and attract even more businesses.
It is getting real. In a week's time the ballots will go out for the bond issue. The opposition, spear-headed by Barb Bryan, is determined to demolish any chance we might have to upgrade our schools, construct new buildings, and deal with overcrowding.
We need volunteers. It doesn't get any simpler than that.
Please, Please, Please... if you can walk, talk, or do signs, volunteer for these events:
Yes For Kids Headquarters (corner of 6th and North 30th)
THIS SATURDAY! October 12, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
THIS SUNDAY! October 13, noon - 7 p.m.
They will have phone and walk lists ready.
Signs go up this Tuesday, October 15. Help us 'Blanket Billings in Blue'!
-For signs in the Billings Heights area, go to the Oasis Water Park, Monday, October 14, 2-5 p.m. or Tuesday, October 15, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
-For the West End area, go to the campaign headquarters on 6th and N. 30th.
Time is truly of the essence. Please make a commitment through volunteerism for a stronger school district. Thank you.
Scott C. McCulloch, BEA President
Karen Moses, Member to Member Campaign
There are lots of moving parts to answer this question. A combination of increased revenues, personnel transfers and cost savings creates the funding needed to staff the new schools.
It is projected the District student population will have 1524 more kids by 2017. With that increase comes additional revenue from state ANB (Annual Number Belonging) funding which will add MILLION$ to SD2 General Fund. Speculation on other increased state funding at this time would be fruitless.
The passage of the mill levy in the spring of 2013 allowed the District to hire 20 new teachers. As the 6th-8th grade model for middle schools is implemented, the transfer of the 6th grade teachers and the reassignment of those 20 new teachers will create the core for the new middle school staff. The District will have to hire additional staff members, but they will not be staffing the schools from scratch.
Passage of the School Bond will take pressure off the District’s operating budget by paying for major building repairs that otherwise would have to be paid with General Fund dollars.
The District's five-year plan calls for the passage of two mill levies to increase revenues to the General Fund. In addition, the District intends to reduce non-classroom operating costs over the five year period. Contrary to rumors, the District's five-year projections for staffing and operating the new middle schools are not based upon pie-in-the-sky state funding which has not already been passed.
The combination of these factors will provide SD2 the funds to operate the new schools.
In addition to building two new middle schools to help house Billings growing student population, bond funds will be used for much needed repairs to 21 elementary schools and 4 existing middle schools.
The District has a very specific needs list for these schools. Once the bond is passed these funds can be used only for the designated needs. To see how the bond will help your school take a look at this list.
Vote YES! for the School Bond!
Make sure your school gets the needed repairs to make
your school a better learning environment for its students!
To sign up to get a sign go to: http://www.yesforbillingskids.org/join.html Just fill in your name and address and they'll put a sign in your yard on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
The Yes FOR Kids campaign is looking for 30+ volunteers to distribute all the signs on Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. The goal is to put out all of the yard signs in one night so Billings voters awake the next morning to see Yes FOR Kids signs planted everywhere! If you can help out on Oct. 15 send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bond funds will be used to build two new middle schools and provide much needed repairs to 21 elementary schools and 4 middle schools including major renovation of Broadwater and McKinley.
Last school year SD2 was 388 students over capacity. Projections are that in just 4 years, without the bond, SD2 will have 1,524 students OVER capacity! With the bond, 76 students under capacity!
Vote FOR the School Bond!
Let's make room for 1,524 new students!
McKinley Elementary~built 1906~
Broadwater Elementary~built 1909~
Everyone is invited. We hope to see you there!
Spread the good word and please share this event with your friends!
October 7 is the close of voter registration in order to have a ballot for the upcoming School Bond election mailed to you. The BEA Political Action Committee encourages every member to vote every election.
If you are not registered to vote, or have moved, or changed your name CLICK HERE to get a voter registration form. Fill it out, print it, sign it, and mail it to the Yellowstone County Election Office, Box 35002, Billings, MT 59107 before October 7. Voter registration forms are also available at the BEA Office. Just stop by or call.
Only voters on the Active Voter Registration List are mailed ballots. Being a registered voter does not necessarily mean you’re an active elector. If you did not vote in a federal general election and did not respond to two confirmation mailings sent to you by the county election office, you have likely been placed on the Inactive Voter Registration List. If a mail ballot that was sent to you was returned as “undeliverable” sometime in the past, and you did not respond to a subsequent confirmation mailing and have not voted since that time, you’re likely on the inactive list.
Check the status of your existing voter registration to ensure your information is accurate. Just click on the “My Voter Page” on the right and enter your name and birthdate.
If your voter status is not active or if your name or address have changed - it’s easy to fix! All you have to do is notify your county election office in writing that your voter registration information is current, or fill out and return a new voter registration card or application for absentee ballot. See the links on the left!