The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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February 12, 2013

16 positions on Clinton School District’s cut list

CLINTON — The Clinton School District could lose roughly 16 positions next school year in order to manage an $866,000 budget shortfall caused by lowered enrollment.

Su-perintendent Deb Olson presented her cost-saving proposal to members of the Clinton School Board Monday night during their meeting at Whittier Elementary School. Because the district lost 90 students this year, it will see the reduction in next year's budget, causing the district to pursue cost saving measures.

"It was a little daunting to try to cut $866,000 out of the budget and not adversely affect student programming, but I believe we've been able to do that somewhat," Olson said.

Eight of the positions would be cut through attrition, saving the district $400,854. The district would lose one middle school math teacher, one middle school science teacher, four K-5 elementary teachers, one high school world language teacher and one 5-12 instrumental music teacher to attrition as these personnel are leaving by resignation or retirement.

The world language department would absorb the cut by moving a teacher who previously taught both world language and social studies to just world language.

Olson also proposed the elimination of nine full-time positions and one half-time position.

Two other half-time positions would also become one full time position. 

This reduction includes converting a middle school associate principal into a dean of students that would serve both campuses. Two middle school social studies, one middle school language arts positions, two K-5 elementary teachers, one preschool teacher, a half position for high school business, and a high school auto trades position would also be reduced. The two half time positions slated to become one are in art.  

These position eliminations along with the loss of a stipend for Lyons Middle School administrative responsibilities would save $355,392.

Students who wanted to take auto trades would need to do so on the Clinton Community College campus. Business classes are also available online.  

The district has already offered an early retirement program that attracted 19 employees.

The empty positions created by the early retirement offer that would be hired back at a lower rate include a middle school librarian, middle school industrial technology teacher, high school, social studies teacher, high school language arts teacher, chief financial officer, 5-12 instrumental music teacher and a 6-8 vocal/5-12 instrumental music teacher. This is proposed to save the district $138,804.

The reduction of elementary school teachers would be felt in third through fifth grades with class size increasing to 29 students. At the middle school level, class sizes at both campuses would be equal at 28-33 students per class.  

All instrumental and vocal programming would be offered as it has with the exception that students will have lessons in groups of two to four rather than individually. Olson advised school board members to discuss the proposed cuts, which totalled roughly $895,000, and evaluate wether they felt the measures would be best for the district. 

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