Originally published in the print edition of Yellowstone County News.
HELENA — A Senate committee on Wednesday afternoon voted unanimously to advance Senate Bill 139 for a full vote of the Montana Senate.
The Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee voted 10-0 to send the bill to the Senate floor after Senator Tom Facey offered an amendment that was rejected by the committee. Lockwood school officials and community members urged the committee to vote in favor of the bill at a Feb. 1 hearing.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, would allow elementary school districts with enrollment of at least 1,000 students to expand into high school districts.
That would allow Lockwood, for example, to begin budgeting and planning to build a high school estimated to enroll enough students to become a Class A school. However, this bill only allows the expansion of a K-8 school district into a full K-12 school district. Senate Bill 139 allows time for the community and school district members to decide and put a vote to the local