East Helena citizens still pursuing a high school - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

East Helena citizens still pursuing a high school

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Welcome back everyone, currently students in the city of East Helena travel all the way to Helena for high school and some citizens believe East Helena should be given the opportunity to decide if a high school is right for their community. Joe Moeller reports with more from East Helena.

"We have our own city council and mayor it is a separate community." says East Helena School District Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer.

Drive about six miles east of Helena and you arrive in East Helena, population just over 2,000. You will find everything in East Helena that you would find in any typical smaller city in Montana, businesses, schools, and most importantly a proud community.

East Helena may be small but it is it's own city with it's own identity, but there is still one thing missing a high school, and people in this community are still working towards an East Helena high.

It started back during the 2013 legislative session when East Helena citizens took the initiative in getting a high school.

"We went in and were able to get a bill sponsored and we went through senate and we made it to the third reading and we were shot down." Says Karen Goldsberry of East Helena. "We rallied again and came through house, we flew through house we had I believe 113 to 74, something along those lines, and it looked like we were going to make it again and we were sent to rules committee because the titles were too close and we lost.

There are around 1,160 students from kindergarten to 8th grandee in the East Helena School District, and when the 130 students graduate from middle school they are then sent to Helena for high school, because that is the only option.

"We continue to look for what is the best option for a kid from east Helena when they go on to high school" continued Whitmoyer. 

Advocates for this proposition are simply looking for the opportunity for the community to decide on a high school decision.

"We are going to just try and find out and keep talking to the community and keep saying is this what you want and with them their voices are saying yes." states Goldsberry. "So we are going to keep moving forward as much as we can to get the support to find out how we can work together, you know when it comes down to it is about the children and I know Helena feels the same way it is about the children.

Community members are not giving up and working with senators and creating petitions to get the ball rolling on the opportunity at this high school for the community at the next legislative session in 2015.


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