Students, other supporters demonstrate against possible MCPS budget cuts

MCPS Cuts Protest
Posted at 9:13 AM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-14 11:13:37-05

MISSOULA — Missoula County Public Schools is facing millions of dollars in budget shortfalls due to declining enrollment, expired relief funding, and inflationary costs.

This has caused school administration to propose dozens of job cuts, and that's causing community concern.

Students and other supporters lined up in front of the MCPS District offices ahead of Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting to demonstrate against the proposed budget cuts that include possibly 100 job cuts across the district which includes the Arts Education Director who oversees and coordinates all arts programs including visual, drama, and music for MCPS.

As we previously reported, the potential cut has the arts community raising the alarm on how this cut could negatively impact fine arts in Missoula public schools and other outside programs.

It's important to note that MCPS is aware of how overwhelming the proposed cuts would be for the community. In a letter to parents, MCPS Superintendent Micah Hill wrote nothing is taken lightly when it comes to reductions. Hill also noted they would make every effort to uphold programs and opportunities valued by the MCPS community.

MCPS is looking to cut dozens of jobs to make up for budget shortfalls. The district is facing a $3 million deficit in the general fund and a $5 million loss in ESSER funds, which is federal money that was provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board meeting began at 6 p.m. in the Administration Building at 909 South Avenue, next to Sentinel High School.