Oelwein School District Looking At Steep Budget Reductions
Several residents and educators braved slick roads to attend a Tuesday night public meeting regarding proposed budget cuts in the Oelwein Community School District's 2020 budget.
The district's goal is to find $800,000 in cuts. According to Superintendent Josh Ehn, the shortfall is the result of lower enrollment numbers and the amount of state aid the district receives each year.
School board members, teachers and other district officials are now trying to save as many programs as they can from being eliminated. They have been pouring over the budget, trying to find ways to keep as many programs and teachers as possible, but still reach the target goal of cutting $800,000.
Some areas of the budget have already been trimmed, including nearly $60,000 in savings by replacing regular lighting in all buildings with more efficient LED lights.
There are a total of 36 ways to cut money from the 2020 budget. They include: emailing report cards to parents instead of mailing them; dropping the Wellness Center membership for school staff; reducing summer positions; not using certified art teachers in an art class; dropping a bus route; eliminating a General Education teacher through retirement; reducing one full-time maintenance position; eliminating a teacher from physical education; sharing Superintendent Ehn with another district, or having him do additional duties as a principal; and numerous other budget cuts that would total $1.18 million.
At the public meeting, teachers and parents voiced concerns about the reading program, the loss of a bus route, and several other proposals.
Ehn said he plans to bring the comments back to the school board. A decision on what reductions will be made isn't expected until March.