Fort Dodge, IA – The Mason City Community School Board had to make some tough decisions about their budget Monday night, and that included cuts to more than a dozen positions.
One reason is because schools haven’t heard yet from the state about how much money they’ll get next year, so the budget is constrained.
On top of that, they haven’t been able to get voters to approve an instructional support levy to help with funding – because it would raise property taxes.
School leaders in Fort Dodge, a similar-sized district, say they’re not having these budget problems.
The school district has had an instructional support levy for more than 10 years now.
And according to the district’s Superintendent it’s been working very well.
With the extra money, they were able to prevent at least a million dollars in cuts just last year.
Superintendent Doug Van Zyl says the school relies on that levy.
“So in a district that’s been losing students as many districts in the state of Iowa have been doing it’s been very beneficial for us. It’s been something that we’ve been able to use to do exactly what it says support instruction,” said Van Zyl.
We also talked to State Representative Sharon Steckman about why lawmakers have not passed the allowable growth budget to area schools.
She says it’s the Governor’s reform bill that needs to be passed first in order for any schools to receive money.