Billings School District 2 board finalizing its $100 million budget

2010-08-15T17:45:00Z 2010-08-15T23:22:57Z Billings School District 2 board finalizing its $100 million budgetROB ROGERS Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
August 15, 2010 5:45 pm  • 

The Billings School District 2 board will work on finalizing its $100 million budget at its regular meeting Monday.

The budget must be approved by the fourth Monday in August.

In May, the district passed a $1.8 million elementary general fund mill levy, which means SD2 will finish the school year with a budget surplus. However, come next year, the district is facing a potential budget shortfall in state funding from $5 million to $10 million.                                                                                                                                                   Mary Jo Fox, who will resign from the board on Sept. 1. Monday will be her last regular board meeting.

Fox was appointed to the board in 2005 and ran unopposed in May to keep her seat. Shortly after the election, Fox decided to move from the west side of the Heights to the Indian Cliffs neighborhood. For a time, she hoped to change the boundaries of the zone she represents to include Indian Cliffs.

But trustees voted in early June to leave the boundaries alone, so Fox submitted her resignation.

“It was a very positive experience,” she said of her time on the board.

Fox’s daughter will be a high school senior this year and without school board commitments, Fox hopes to have more time to spend with her.

Fox’s time on the board was instructive.

“I found out how much power the board has,” she said.

For that and other reasons, she hopes to see community members from the Heights take a more active roll in the district, a difficult task for many, given the time and energy required to serve, Fox acknowledged. She said she was grateful to her employer, Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, for being flexible and accommodating.

Still, the seat has been a hard one to fill. The district recently put out the call for appoints to replace Fox and only one person submitted an application. Greta Besch Moen will be considered by a board committee next week as Fox’s possible replacement.

“It matters very much who’s on the board,” Fox said.

The role a school board plays in a child’s education and the health of a community can’t be overstated, she said.

The board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the board room at Lincoln Center, 415 N. 30th St., Billings.

Contact Rob Rogers at rrogers@billingsgazette.com or at 406-657-1231.

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