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.

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

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