Hudson schools considering $525,000 in cuts - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hudson schools considering $525,000 in cuts

HUDSON (KWWL) -- Patrons of the Hudson Community School District heard a grim picture Monday night of the school's finances.  Three straight years to the state under funding school districts has led to the need for Hudson to slash more than a half million dollars from its budget for next school year, including the possibility of cutting positions and classes to reducing programs.

The district's superintendent admits that making the needed cuts won't be easy, but are necessary to cope with the proposed zero percent increase in state funding coupled with declining enrollment.

Classrooms could soon be more crowded in Hudson even though fewer students are enrolling in the district.  That's because the state's failure to meet its school funding commitments over the past three years has left Hudson and many other districts in a financial pinch.  In Hudson, that means a handful of staff positions are now on the chopping block.

"There's three teachers that the positions will be eliminated.  Then there's an additional three that we're reducing their contract.  Then there's also a principal position that I'm asking the school board to eliminate, and a counseling position that we're looking to reduce to part time," said Hudson superintendent Tony Voss.

In all, Hudson is considering $525,000 in cuts.  The superintendent's proposal also calls for letting go a few coaches and the school's tennis program could end.  Some janitorial positions will be reduced or eliminated.  And several other assistant positions will be cut.

"I couldn't in good conscience take everything out of one area.  Well frankly, we couldn't because we have to offer certain programs so we had to look at everything and literally everything was on the table," Voss said.

For now, none of the cuts are set in stone.  And community input heard Monday night, about programs that should be saved and suggestions for where cuts could be made, will play a role in what reductions the school board ultimately opts to make.

The district says it cannot raise taxes to make up the budget deficit.  As it sits now, Hudson is set to end this school year with a negative balance.  Compounding the issue, federal stimulus funds are set to run out at the end of this academic year.

The Hudson school board is expected to decide exactly what cuts will be made during its next meeting March 21st.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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