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Budget News – Dec. 16

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TAKING IT STEP BY STEP

As reported in the last Informaline, early financial estimates show the district must reduce approximately $3 million from the general fund each year for the next two years. The district is using a process called Tregoe to make cost-cutting decisions.

The process uses a step-by-step approach to set objectives, organize and prioritize information, evaluate options and understand the impact of possible choices. The first step was to identify how much money needs to be cut. The second step was to develop the criteria to be used to evaluate suggested cost cutting ideas. The district administration has developed the criteria with input from several groups, including:

  • Parent representatives from each school who are members of the School Community Network
  • Teacher representatives who are members of the West Des Moines Education Association
  • Staff representatives who are members of the West Des Moines Educational Support Personnel Association
  • Building principals
  • District administrators
  • School Board

Evaluation Criteria

Timeline

BRAINSTORMING COST CUTTING IDEAS

District administrators, building principals and employee union representatives recently began developing ideas for possible budget cutting options in an effort to reduce spending in the district’s general fund next year by $3 million.

Building principals and district administrators met on Dec. 5 to begin developing options. The employee unions—West Des Moines Education Association and the West Des Moines Educational Support Personnel Association—were also asked to provide ideas. Suggested options will also be requested from Superintendent Advisory Committees, which include School Board members.

Next, the Business Services Department will document costs associated to the proposed options. In January, the building principals and district administrators will then score each option against a set of evaluation criteria.

You can also be involved.

Parents will be invited in February/March to provide feedback on the proposed cost cutting package before it is submitted to the School Board in March.

More on School Finance

BUDGET MYTH BUSTER #1

Myth
The district can stop spending money on renovating buildings, such as Valley or the Learning Resource Center, to help its budget situation.

Fact
Building projects are paid for with money from sales tax revenue. Iowa law does not allow school districts to use sales tax money to pay for salaries or academic programs. Sales tax funds can only be used to renovate buildings or build new ones.