Board Approves $2.9 Million Budget Reductions for 2021-22 School Year (03/09/21)
March 9, 2021
At the regular West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education meeting held Monday, March 8, the Board approved nearly all of the initial $3.1 million proposed budget reductions included on the agenda. However, prior to the Board’s discussion of the topic, WDMCS Superintendent Lisa Remy, Ed.D., pulled one item from the budget packet, explaining that a solution had not been developed for redistributing the job responsibilities for the Valley High School registrar.
This position was included in the package because of a retirement within the role, which would not displace the employee. With the omission of the registrar role, the package total dipped just below $3 million to $2,983,726.
Board members also discussed the recommended removal of Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES). Currently, students in grades 4-6 receive 60 minutes of Spanish instruction each week. The $312,000 recommended cost savings would mean all WDMCS students could be introduced to Spanish as part of an elective course in seventh grade. In addition, the district offers its Dual Language Spanish Immersion Program at one elementary school. The Board voted 6 to 1 to approve the FLES removal.
Budget Reduction Pie Chart
District leadership finalized a budget reduction recommendation based on several factors:
The Long-Range Planning Committee’s three top budget packages.
Feedback from a community survey shared with families, students, and staff regarding the top three packages.
Additional research completed on opportunities to allocate some budget line items to a different fund.
increased non-personnel budget reductions across the district.
“A budget reduction process is never easy. It touches the lives of people we work shoulder to shoulder with and can be emotionally draining,” Dr. Remy said. “We really took what people shared with us to heart and put a package together that minimized the concerns that we heard from all of our stakeholders.”