WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Central Lee Schools Not Facing Severe Cuts

Donnellson, IA – Superintendent John Henriksen presented the proposed 2010/2011 budget to the Central Lee School Board earlier this month. He says the spending plan calls for no cuts to any programs and a $0.23 decrease in the property tax rate.

Henriksen says the budget also includes money to hire at least nine new employees. Eleven employees took advantage of an early retirement incentive offered by the district.

Henriksen says his district should avoid the difficult cuts, facing neighboring districts, because Central Lee has already made them. He says Central Lee will have about 15 fewer teachers, this fall, compared to the same time four years ago.

Henriksen says the district has been able to handle the reduction in staff by shifting teaching schedules and altering the class load for students.

The district will receive about $300,000 less, next year, in state funding. Henriksen says the district will cover that shortfall with cash reserves.

Henriksen says the budget also factors in a wage freeze for administrators. He says the district is still negotiating with its teachers.

The Central Lee School Board is expected to approve the certified budget next month and work on the line-item portion of the spending plan this summer.