WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Keokuk Schools Need To Cut $900,000

Keokuk, IA – Superintendent Lora Wolff says the district needs to cut at least $900,000 from the spending plan. She says the district's administrative team has identified just over $1-million worth of options.

The cuts would normally be presented to the school board during a formal meeting. Wolff says the fact that there are five new members prompted the decision to present the information during a special workshop.

Wolff says administrators accepted cost-cutting ideas from every district employee. She says the resulting list was 18 pages, single-spaced.

Wolff says the administration's proposal to cut $1-million includes
- eliminating Kid Zone
- closing Torrance Elementary
- freezing administrative wages
- leave HS Social Studies position open
- cut HS Math position & HS Language Arts position
- combine various positions throughout the district
- restructure the grade 5-12 music program
- cut several teacher associates

Wolff says the district is in line for grant money to help fund Kid Zone.

Wolff says the district looked into $1.7-million in cuts to balance the budget, but felt that would be too drastic. She says the district will probably have to raise property taxes and use reserves to avoid more cuts.

Wolff says declining enrollment and cuts in state funding are severely impacting Keokuk's budget. She says they could also make the 2011/2012 budget even more difficult.
The Keokuk School Board reviewed the cost cutting proposals earlier this week. The formal list of recommendations will be presented to the panel on March 8, with action expected by the end of the month.