- Associated Press - Saturday, April 16, 2016

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - The Cedar Rapids Community School District will cut teachers and programs before the next school year starts in the fall to deal with a budget shortfall.

The district has announced it will eliminate 10 elementary school and 13 high school teaching positions, television station KCRG reported (https://bit.ly/1Si1Kzq ) Saturday. The district is also getting rid of the Foreign Language in Elementary Schools program. More than 6,000 students have received foreign language instruction through that program.

“No program is easy to make a reduction in, but when we received our state supplemental aid, we knew we’d have to make reductions to meet our budget,” said Val Dolezal, executive director for PK-8.

Superintendent Brad Buck said the lack of supplemental state aid, fueled by years of declining enrollment, left the district $2.3 million in the hole.

The cuts will save the district roughly $1.7 million, leaving more than $500,000 that still needs to be trimmed. Buck said that will likely happen outside of the classroom, such as by rearranging administration and shifting the cost of non-instructional software.

The cuts will mean changing high school class schedules as teachers take on more class periods, teaching six sections instead of five. That change will allow the district to maintain class sizes, Buck said.

“There’s some point of diminishing returns, when the system can’t just continue to say keep being more efficient,” Buck said. “There’s an end to that. We’ll get a quality difference for kids.”


Information from: KCRG-TV, https://www.kcrg.com

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