School Board Approves Program Changes/Reductions
Waukee Community School District’s Board of Education unanimously approved approximately $1 million in program changes/reductions for the 2016-17 school year at the January 11 meeting.
When the district was forced to make cuts in 2010, due to the state’s 10% across the board reduction in school funding, the bulk of the reductions occurred in administration and at the elementary levels, as well as some significant cut-backs in operations. The scenario approved will mostly impact the middle grades. Program changes include reductions in accompanists, tech integration, careers, extended learning program and transitioning the double block language arts in 8th grade to a 7 period day.
“We’re suffering from the reality of less-than-adequate funding by the Iowa legislature over the past several years. This coupled with an ever increasing student population, puts a strain on our general fund budget,” David J. Wilkerson, Ph.D., superintendent, said. “Funding always lags for new students by at least a full year. For the current school-year, we are educating, 700 students for whom we receive NO funding. That represents a shortfall of $4.5 million in the year we are tasked with educating them.”
Over the next few years the District’s general fund budget projections show expenditures exceeding revenues. The Board was presented with possible program areas that could be reduced for the 2016-17 school year on December 14, 2015. Two options were discussed each totaling a little more than $1 million in reductions. The goal was to have the smallest impact possible on students, instruction and our core mission of education.
One year reductions in Operations and Human Resources were also approved totaling $172,881. While $53,500 in reductions were also approved for Nutrition and Community Ed, these reductions have no effect on the general fund.
Waukee Community School District anticipates needing somewhere in the vicinity of 30 new positions district-wide for the 2016-17 school year to accommodate the growth and open its eighth elementary school, Grant Ragan.
“We need to add staff to meet the demands of growth, at the same time we pull back in some programming. While it might be a different seat on the bus, it’s a seat. We will not open ANY teaching positions in our district to outside candidates until we’ve gone through the process of trying to place all existing staff in new positions that they are properly certified to teach,” Wilkerson said.
2016-17 Budget Document – 5 year forecast – The first chart shows the District’s current financial forecast projections without program changes/reductions. The second chart shows the District’s financial forecast projections with the approved program changes/reductions. The third chart shows the financial forecast projections if the District hires less staff in addition to the approved program changes/reductions.