Iowa City voters elect school board members, face tough issues - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City voters elect school board members, face tough issues


IOWA CITY (KWWL) - While many schools are dealing with declining enrollment and too much space, Iowa City's student population is growing, and running out of room.

"We have a lot of kids coming from North Liberty and the rural areas coming to West High," says voter Teresa Kelly. She says that's just one challenge facing Iowa City's school board.

A rising enrollment is causing the district to examine the possibility of a third high school, in addition to City High and West High. Though the district may have the money to build a new school, Kelly says the board will have more to consider than simple dollars and cents. "You may be able to build a building, but can you sustain the staff to be in the building."

Representative Mary Mascher (D, Iowa City), who was at the polls, says figuring out when too many students are in a building will be up to the board. "Determining when those other two schools are over-capacity, when it's too crowded, when it is no longer optimal standards in terms of the number of kids in each of the classrooms," said Mascher. Another issue facing voters: an update to the school attendance boundaries in the district. Mascher says changing where those lines are drawn will impact where students attend class, and how minority students are spread across the district.

"I think it's really important that we have equity within all of the buildings, and that the kids have the same opportunities, regardless of where they go to school."

Sports are another consideration. Former teacher Clarence Haverkamp wonders how a third school would affect the district's standing in the Iowa High School Athletic Association. "A high school of fifteen-hundred and a high school of six-hundred would be in two different conferences, and I don't know if it's legal to be in two different ones," Haverkamp said.

Voter turnout for this election was high compared to recent years, at 6.07%.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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