Havre Daily News
The Havre school board on Tuesday once again denied a request from the East End and Hilldale Hutterite colonies to have public schools.
The board voted 4-3 to not allow the colonies, both of which are in the Havre school district, to have attendance centers funded through an agreement with Rocky Boy Public Schools. The colonies had proposed an interlocal agreement between RBPS and Havre Public Schools that would have effectively removed both colonies from the Havre district through June of 2008.
Joe Waldner, the administrator of East End Colony's private school, said today he thinks the board members who voted against the agreement are too concerned with funding and not concerned enough with educating children.
"This board has had their mind set up," he said. Every time board members vote it down, they "always give different reasons that absolutely have nothing to do with education. Nobody looks at (this) like public education."
If the interlocal agreement had been approved, Rocky Boy would have conducted a 10-month study to determine the feasibility of providing the attendance centers. If the study showed providing the attendance centers would have been beneficial to Rocky Boy, the school district could have moved ahead with the plan without further consulting the HPS board.
The proposal would not have cost the Havre district any money and would have left all funding and implementation of the centers to Rocky Boy.
Some of the money would have come from state funds, and some school board members argued that with so little money to go around, that would have hurt all students across the state.
Board member Judy Bricker said the vote comes down to the same issues that has caused the board to deny similar interlocal agreements in 2003 and 1996 - that there simply isn't enough money in the well.
"That reservoir has had 16 years of drought," she said.