North Butler confirms elementary school closure - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

North Butler confirms elementary school closure

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BUTLER COUNTY (KWWL) -

The North Butler School District confirms that they will be closing Greene Elementary at the end of the school year.

This comes in the wake of a seemingly-insurmountable budget deficit of approximately $213,000 accrued over several years. The preliminary plan is to move the K-6 grades to their elementary in Allison and have grades 7-12 at North Butler High in Greene.

"It's always a tough decision, but we didn't have any other good options," said Superintendent Joel Foster.

One-hundred-seventy students attend Greene Elementary. North Butler has a district enrollment of 641. Closing Greene Elementary will save the district $180,000 annually, according Foster.

Foster attributes the deficit to poor budgeting as well as a loss in State and Federal funding.

"I don't think we're looking at mistakes anybody really made," he told KWWL in October. "It's just a perfect storm in school finance."

Some families are concerned with the closure. Students will now be bussed down the road to a consolidated elementary school in Allison. Dozens of parents expressed frustration with the closure at a series of public meetings. They also formed a Facebook group, "Save North Butler Schools."

Foster said the district will submit the closure to the state as part of a corrective action plan.

"It gives us an opportunity for a fresh start," he said.

Foster said he hopes the closure will make the district profitable by the summer of 2016.

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