Heart Butte School Board votes to lay off 30 staff members

HEART BUTTE — Heart Butte School District School Board members voted unanimously Tuesday to lay off 30 staff members in an effort to cut costs as the district faces a $2.5 million liability in what Montana Superintendent Elsie Arntzen said was an unprecedented predicament in the state.

Principal and acting district administrator Sandi Campbell was in tears following the decision.

“(It’s) not going to be a functioning school tomorrow,” Campbell told the Daily Montanan Tuesday night.

Teacher Assistant Margaret Crawford speaks at a Heart Butte School District School Board meeting on Jan. 9, 2023. 

NICOLE GIRTEN, Daily Montanan

There are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding whether the school will be able to keep its doors open even with these cuts, and what day-to-day operations will look like without kitchen or custodial staff or support for teachers in the classroom. The board has yet to release a contingency plan if the school can’t operate in the fall as it predicted may happen.

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