DMPS Prepares For Massive Budget Cuts

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) is forced to cut millions to balance the budget.

In the largest budget cut since 2010, DMPS is slated to lay off more than 20 teachers districtwide. The district is preparing to cut $24 million next school year.

It is concerning parent Louisa Dykstra.

“It’s a little scary. I look at it from a parent’s perspective of what are my students going to have access to but also looking at the other 33,000,” Dykstra said,

Budget cuts mean less school programs, resources, and faculty.

“Technology is affected, you can’t purchase school books, and other things about the budget will impact the students," said Gregory Harris, executive director of the Des Moines Education Association (DMEA).

DMEA represents some of the 23 DMPS teachers who could be out of a job.

The state gives the district roughly $7,000 a year per student. The district expects to lose 369 students total by the 2019-2020 school year. That's nearly a $2.5 million loss.

During the last legislative session, lawmakers approved a 2 percent increase to state aid. That's about $140 more a year per student.

Dykstra says this is not a poor reflection on DMPS.

By law, the district has to let teachers know by the end of next month whether they have a full time position.

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