HS Expansion Bill Sailing Through Helena
Legislative efforts in support of a new high school for Lockwood are sailing through the State House. Two years ago, a bill that would have created an exemption to Montana’s ban on new high school districts divided state legislators– but Senate Bill 139 was unanimously passed, effectively letting K-8 school districts with enrollments of approximately 1,000 students expand to K-12 districts.
The measure would create a split between Lockwood and Billings Public Schools. Lockwood currently sends its teenage students to Billings high schools. In 2015, along with East Helena and Missoula Hellgate, Lockwood championed the high school expansion bill– but controversial provisions, including an asset split between districts — killed the proposal. Billings trustees oppose the current expansion effort, while Helena interim Superintendent Jack Copps spoke in favor of the bill, and it is supported by the state teacher’s union.