Lockwood high school bill sails easily through Senate and now advances to the House

HELENA — The Senate bill that would give the Lockwood community a chance to build a high school is awaiting action in the Montana House of Representatives.

The Senate passed the bill 49-0 on third and final reading on Thursday, Feb. 16. The House heard it on first reading on Saturday, Feb. 18, when it was referred to the House Education Committee. That committee includes Billings Republican representatives Jeff Essmann, vice chairman, and Peggy Webb, and Rep. Sue Vinton, R-Lockwood, who will carry the measure in the House.

The measure, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, sponsored the bill in the Senate. No one opposed the bill during several committee and floor hearings in the Senate.

The measure would allow elementary school districts with enrollment of at least 1,000 students to expand into high school districts. The communities of Lockwood and East Helena are the most likely districts for high school expansion. Superintendent Tobin Novasio has said the Lockwood school could enroll enough students to be classified by the Montana High School Association as a Class A school.

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