ICCSD faced with difficult decisions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

ICCSD faced with difficult decisions

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- With fewer state dollars coming in, school districts across the state are being forced to make cuts.

The Iowa City Community School District is just one having to make some tough decisions.

Tuesday night, Superintendent Lane Plugge outlined a rough budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and a large part of that plan involves staff reduction.

Tom Yates has taught language arts at City High School in Iowa City for 30 years.

Yates also heads the teachers' union.  He says teachers are concerned, given the current situation.

"The stress of having to deal with less resources, potential pay cuts. This is something that's going to be concerning," said Yates.

Plugge's proposed cuts decrease the budget by $3.5 million.

"I think it's only beginning to materialize and put a face on what we're going to be looking at," said Tony Cilek, who serves on the Iowa City School District board of directors.

The proposal includes early retirement incentives, increasing of student to teacher ratios, and cuts in certain clubs and school programs.

The district will be forced to make tough decisions regarding what needs to go.

"It's difficult for us in making the decisions. It's difficult for the administration, I think it's going to be tremendously difficult for teachers in the building that are so dedicated trying to do everything they can," said Cilek.

The district already has made $3.4 million in cuts in fiscal year 2010, and is being shorted $5.6 million in state aid.

If there is any good news, Yates says growth may allow the Iowa City Community School District to avoid issues other districts are dealing with.

Cuts may come or they may be intended but I'm hopefully if Iowa City continues to grow we'll be able to keep all the jobs that we need," said Yates.

The school board estimates the district will have to make between $2 million and $6 million in cuts.  The district will be to have a more exact figure after teacher contract negotiations are completed.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

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