Davenport Schools face millions in budget cuts

Davenport School Board 4-12-13 (WQAD Photo)

Davenport School Board 4-12-13 (WQAD Photo)

Updated:  With a 6-1 vote, the Davenport School Board approved additional cuts to the district’s budget for the next school year.

“Along with other school districts in the State of Iowa,  Davenport Community School District (DCSD)  has not received any word regarding the amount of allowable growth it will receive for the 2013-2014 school year, therefore DCSD  must assume 0% allowable growth in order to meet our deadline to certify the budget with the state by April 15, 2013,” said a statement from the district’s media relations liaison Dawn Saul.

Previous assumptions that allowable growth would be 2% would have meant a budget reduction of $3.2 million.  Zero allowable growth hikes the budget cuts to more than $4 million for the 2013-2014 school year.

“Once again, we have tried to keep reductions as far away from the classrooms as possible for the coming school year,” Saul’s statement said.

At a noon meeting Friday, April 12, 2013, the board approved $3.28 million in budget reductions.  Early retirement incentives will be cut by $980,000; the district’s insurance fund will be cut by $2 million; the Central/North bus budget will be cut by $88,000; paid conditional busing will be eliminated to save $50,000 and all department budgets (not school site budgets) will be cut by five percent to save an additional $120,000.

Original story from Friday morning, April 12, 2013:

The Davenport School Board will comply with the state deadline for budget approval, but that could force them to cut millions from next year’s budget.

School officials say the they don’t know if they’ll get additional funding from the state for the 2013-2014 school year.

The board delayed the vote set for Monday, April 8, hoping the state would decide the allowable growth rate before the state-imposed April 15 deadline for districts to approve their budgets for the next school year.  Allowable growth rate is money channeled to school districts from the state.

As Friday morning arrived, there was no word on allowable growth from the state, so Davenport school officials say they must move ahead as if they will get zero funding for allowable growth.

What that means for Davenport schools is the likelihood of more than $3-million in budget cuts for the next school year.

The district’s annual budget is nearly $257-million.

Davenport School Board Director Patt Zamora said, “The state is holding school funding hostage.”

The Davenport Community Schools board was set to approve a smaller-than-expected budget for the 2013-14 school year at a noon meeting Friday, April 12.

Stay with News 8 and WQAD.com for updates to this developing story.

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