Living in Society

Iowa City School District Budget Cuts

FINAL UPDATE: April 11: After spending 16 hours attending the April 8 Iowa City School District meetings and press conference, listening to my audio recordings multiple times, and reading the posted documents about the FY2015 budget, here is my opinion of the FY2015 budget adjustments:

1. The state is not adequately funding local school districts.
2. The district was spending too much, using one-time money, mostly from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Edujobs Bill (signed by Obama in 2010) to fill funding gaps that should have been addressed in 2010.
3. Those who complain about cuts in any particular area, whether it be football, music, world languages, overtime, teacher training or whatever, are missing the fact that while overspending with unsustainable revenue is being corrected (with the support of the current school board), elections matter, and the state elected a governor and legislature that produced the pickle school districts are dealing with.
4. I can’t write my opinions in the newspaper, but read my April 12 article in the North Liberty Leader anyway, to see how I viewed the proceedings of the district.

UPDATE: Download the entire set of documents provided to media at our press conference with Superintendent Steve Murley after the formal business meetingĀ on April 8 here and here. They explain in detail what is being cut and why cuts are needed.

How did the Iowa City School District come up with $3.6 million in budget cuts?

Building allocations $9k
Discretionary bus routes $80k
Athletics $30k
Non-contractual meals $26k
Contracted services $10k
Clerical staff $223k
Admin – Building level $125k
Admin – District level $100k
Custodial – Crafts and Trades $91k
Overtime – $89k
Off Schedule Supervisory Technical $63k
Paraeducators $45k
School nursing $44k
Substitute Staff $32k
Class size efficiency $628k at (High School)
Reduce deans of students $222k (High School)
World language instruction $124k (High School)
Guidance $88k (High School)
Librarian $59k (High School)
Class size efficiency $322k (Junior High)
World languages $239k (Junior High)
General music $90k (Junior High)
Keyboarding $74k (Junior High)
Class size additions $444k (Elementary)
Performance Music $444k (Elementary)
Scheduling efficiency $177k (Elementary)
HF 743 $177k (Elementary)
Guidance $177k (Elementary)
Librarian $88k (Elementary)
Professional development $88k (Elementary)