Davenport School Board Talks Budget, Boundaries

Call it – Deja Vu. The Davenport Community School District is once again faced with a budget burden.

On Monday, December 3rd, 2012, the Resource Allocation Committee — a committee created to identify $3.25 million in reductions each year for the next five years — revealed their reduction recommendations for the next five school years.

The biggest chunk comes from an “Insurance Holiday,” that is estimated to save the school district $2 million every year for the next five years.

“We have an insurance fund and over the years it has built up. so what we would do is use some of that build up rather than taking money out of our general fund to pay a month’s premium,” says Superintendent Dr. Art Tate.

Other recommendations for the 2013-14 school year include an “Early Retirement Incentive” ($600,000), “Transportation Efficiencies” ($150,000), “Cut Central/North Buses” ($88,000), and an across the board reduction of 5% ($288,000) for a total of $3,126,000.

The other big topic that came out of Monday’s meeting was talk of restructuring the school district’s boundaries. Superintendent Tate says it’s a project long overdue.

“It’s been a long, long time and since that time, we’ve had a lot of imbalance,” says Dr. Tate. “We’ve got some schools that are 101% of their building capacity and some are only at 70% so we need to balance that with a fair spread of our students throughout our district.”

During the Davenport School Board’s December 10th meeting, board members will vote on a boundary draft, which will be released to the public. In January and February, the school district will hold 6-8 public forums for residents, teachers, parents, students, and staff to sound off about the budget and the boundaries. The board is expected to make a decision on both items no later than March 2013.

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