Proposed cuts in W.D.M. hit class size, special education

Des Moines Register :: April 8, 2010
Full article here.

West Des Moines school officials on Monday presented a budget reduction plan that would mean more students in classes from elementary school to high school science and foreign language, along with cuts to special education services.

About 150 community members, parents and teachers attended a school board workshop to learn more about district administrators’ proposal to cut $1 million from the district’s budget.

The reduction plan includes eliminating 13 full-time equivalent special education teaching positions, along with 45 special education assistant positions. The reduction of assistants would mean that some special education students would no longer have an individual employee to take them to class and be with them throughout the day, said Angie Calhoun, the district’s director of special education.

The cuts to special education could save about $1.6 million; however, the district’s special education fund has a deficit of $2.9 million. The shortfall is made up through the district’s general fund, which is what school officials use to pay for everyday expenses and teachers’ salaries. Full article here.

IDEA MONEY WATCH RESPONDS: We can’t help but wonder what the WDM district has done with all of its IDEA Recovery Act funds – roughly $2.4 million.

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