Democratic Breakfast Study Club: Dr. Garcia, Superintendent of Billings Public Schools

Wednesday, March 20, 7:30 am via Zoom, Raph Graybill, Candidate for Lt. Governor

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Meeting ID: 899 6639 0269
Passcode: 351757

  • Violence is devastating and expensive and this levy reduces out-of-pocket costs borne by taxpayers by investing in both prevention and violence response.
  • This levy improves our local economy by creating a safer community and school climate which will improve home values.
  • Public schools are naturally a community’s greatest exposure to the most vulnerable people.
  • The time is now. Billings is grappling with a surge in both violent crime and mental health challenges. We have a responsibility to make our schools safer to protect  our kids and community.
  • The levies will cost approximately $5 per month for every $300,000 in home values
  • The entire Billings community, even those without children in school, is impacted by Billings Public Schools’ ability to provide a safe learning environment.
  • The proposed levies benefit all students by providing safe environments where children  are free to learn.
  • This levies provide a means for our school district to carry out its immediate and long-term action plans focused on the results of a professional, comprehensive safety audit conducted in November 2023 of all 37 buildings and administrative sites.
  • Action has already been taken on some of the safety audit findings. Others require more resources.
  • The district has heard the collective voice of the community. There is a compelling need to improve safety measures within our schools.
  • Additional funding is needed to address the “significant” safety needs of the district.
  • A majority of our schools lack camera systems. The few that do have cameras often deal with old equipment, servers that are incapable of supporting the footage, insufficient monitors, or poor video quality and freezing issues.
  • Gang issues are on the rise in the area and impact our school communities.
  • Our schools lack a multidisciplinary threat management team.

Conducted November 2023

  • Many schools lack external intercom systems.
  • Internal intercom systems do not function properly or function at too low a volume in certain places of some school buildings, making it very difficult or impossible to hear emergency alerts.
  • Our schools have a high mental  health counseling staff to student ratio. The recommended ratio is 1/500. Our district has two dedicated school psychologists, causing the vast majority of the counseling staff to be focused on other school related matters.
  • Many schools lack visual indicators to alert people of an emergency other than a fire.
  • Schools lack general lockdown buttons.
  • Most schools have a protective window film near front offices, however, the sealing is insufficient, causing the film to be much less effective. Additionally, it was recommended that other high risk areas receive protective window film installation.
  • We have a nurse to student ratio of 1 nurse for every 950 students, however, the recommendation is 1 nurse for every 750 students.
  • Our visitor management system is outdated, relying on pa prper logs.
  • Our School Resource Officers (SROs) cover so many schools that they are unable to regularly visit them all.
  • Nearly all elementary schools lack life-saving Automated Electronic Defibrillators (AED) devices for cardiac emergencies.

The levies will raise approx. $5 million. It will keep our kids safer through investments in prevention:

  • Gang prevention specialists (3)
  • Professional development
  • (CPR, First Aid, de-escalation, incident command training, critical incidence
  • response training, AED) Mental health specialists (3)
  • Nurses (3) & Counselors (5)
  • Drop-out prevention specialists (3)
  • Character development programs
  • Drug & vaping prevention programs

and investments in

  • Camera systems, monitors, & infrastructure (servers, clouds)
  • Intercom systems
  • Key card accessibility systems
  • AED systems (elementary schools)
  • Lockdown emergency button
  • Visitor management system
  • Install public announcement systems
  • (internal & external)
  • Visual notification system
  • Radio system & phone amplifier
  • Protective window film (install & repair)


Apr 03 2024


7:30 am - 8:30 pm

More Info

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36th Annual Harry S Truman Democratic Dinner

Enjoy an evening of great conversation, fun prizes, and celebration of our Democratic values a our annual fundraiser dinner and auction!