Grout levy failure could slightly impact school programs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Grout levy failure could slightly impact school programs

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The Grout Museum District Tax Levy failed in Waterloo's recent election, diverting money from the arts.

In addition to funding the arts and Waterloo culture, the Grout also helps support educational programs in the Waterloo School District. The STEM Program - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - is a popular program the Grout has supported. The program works with Waterloo Schools to ensure kids get education in these areas. However, without extra funding, the Grout may have to re-evaluate its involvement in STEM.

While the Grout does offer resources, Waterloo Schools says the STEM program is still afloat and sustainable. Superintendent Dr. Gary Norris says the district has partnerships with a number of different entities to ensure program support; some outlets for support include the Waterloo Schools Foundation and state-issued grants.

In term's of the Grout's support in STEM, what is affected is expansion. STEM Coordinator Angela Francis said the district had outlined a plan to grow some of the existing STEM programs, but now can't move forward where the Grout is concerned.

Dr. Norris said it does represent a loss, but doesn't end the entire program.

"We need all the partners we can get and we hate to lose any partners, but this is probably the number one push in American education right now... So we're just going to keep finding resources," Norris said.

Citizens for Grout says it hopes it will be able to continue helping the STEM program. It says the budget is already set for this year, but next year, it will have to reassess its spending and figure out where to make any necessary cuts.

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