Cooler classrooms a result of budget cuts - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cooler classrooms a result of budget cuts

DENVER (KWWL) - At least one eastern Iowa school district is making changes due to lost revenue from the Governor's statewide budget cut.  Monday, students and teachers began feeling the difference literally.  The Denver School District is taking several small steps in an effort to avoid a larger cut in the future.

Students in Denver are bundling up for class.  The school has heat but in the wake of budget cuts, district leaders decided to dial down the thermostat to save money.

"It's just a little bit cooler so my room is just as cold as everyone else's or just as warm as everyone else's. I'm just asking that parents send their kids with warmer clothes and the teachers dress warmer and we're all in this together," said Denver Schools Superintendent Kathy Enslin.

The indoor temperature is set at 68 degrees.  Most students and teachers are adapting, wearing sweatshirts and longsleeves.  Some classrooms keep the heat better than others.  That's why you'll still see some in shorts.  But that's not the end of the cost saving measures.  Lights are turned off, both in hallways and in rooms not in use.  It's the same with computers.  Windows and doors stay shut.  Parents are just hearing of the changes.

"If it's just a matter of wearing a sweater and then they'll be comfortable all day, I'm OK with that. If they're going to be so cool that they're going to be distracted from learning, that's a different story," said parent Heidi Bahlmann.

School officials say it won't be a distraction.  The measures were outlined to teachers before the governor announced the 10% cut.  In Denver, that will equal $344,000.

"We're all just going to have to work together. I think this is a great opportunity for us to come together as a community to see what we can do to help the greater good," said Enslin.

School officials say the changes are being made now not just for this year, but for future years. They say they want to stave off as many possible personnel cuts as they can. They say every dollar counts and the reserves won't make it through next year's budget.  Other cost-cutting measures in Denver? School officials say they'll be cutting field trips and exploring the possibility of minimizing travel to athletic events.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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