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BUDGET CUTS: Johnston Schools Proposes Layoffs

johnston schools new

For the second time this week, school leaders are forced to make difficult budget decisions. West Des Moines’ board voted to close an elementary earlier this week.

Wednesday night at a school board meeting, Johnston officials debated whether or not to cut 14 full time employees including physical education teachers, study hall aids, counselors and choir directors.

The district is facing a $1.2 million deficit. Johnston Board of Education president, Greg Dockum, says lack of state funding and a slow growing school district are affecting the budget. He says the district chose to narrow on a specific jobs based on a list of criteria.

“The impact on student achievement and learning as well as the impact on our core instructional subjects,” says Dockham.

Dockum’s words contradict what the school district’s former superintendent, Clay Guthmiller, said in 2012 about the original plans for a new school.

“We’re a fast growing district and this would meet the future enrollment needs, particularly at the high school, but at the middle school as we re-purpose these other buildings, it does meet all the enrollment needs,” Guthmiller said.

Watch the original story:

The school board will make their final decision on March 31st.

4 comments

  • Terry

    How is it that the Johnston School District approves a bond to build a new school, and THEN we hear about a budget short fall. It would appear that there is a lack of money management skills in the Johnston School District. If enrollment is slowing, maybe we don’t need as big as school as was proposed!

  • Tim

    Since they are not abandoning the schools that exist the “this is capital from another fund source” doesn’t hold water. The new Hs will increase ongoing expenses in utilities and maintenance at a minimum and likely will need…..guess what….more administration as well. This was sold on “we are running out of space”, now we are a flat or slowing enrollment district. I sense a Larger story here if someone is willing to look. Give me teachers over new building and more administration any day.

  • John

    WHO should review their own archives stories….
    If the voters give the project a green light, construction will start on a new $1.22 million high school in the near future.
    Johnston like many metro communities is growing.
    The district is proposing building a brand new high school, it’s what school superintendent Clay Guthmiller says is the district needs.
    “We’re a fast growing district and this would meet the future enrollment needs, particularly at the high school, but at the middle school as we re-purpose these other buildings, it does meet all the enrollment needs,” says Johnston Superintendent Clay Guthmiller.
    The high school would hold 10th through 12th graders.
    In turn, the old high school would then serve as the new middle school for 8th and 9th graders, eventually using the old middle school for another elementary school.

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