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March 23, 2024
Linn-Mar confirms 50 staff positions being cut next year
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Linn-Mar confirms 50 staff positions being cut next year

Mar 23, 2024


MARION, Iowa (KCRG) – On Thursday, the Linn-Mar School District confirmed that 50 full-time staff positions in the district would be cut for the 2024/2025 school year.

At Monday’s board meeting, the district announced that even though they made approximately $3 million in cuts this school year, another $2.5 million would have to be made for the next one as well.

“As a district, we are focused on managing these financial challenges while striving to minimize the impact on our operations and the quality of the educational experience our students receive,” said Amy Kortemeyer, Superintendent. “We do not make these decisions lightly, as each and every staff member serving our schools provides exceptional value to our students and families. However, we must take action to balance our budget and meet our obligation to maintain a healthy financial position.”

19 full-time teaching positions and 31 full-time classified staff positions would be cut as part of the budget cuts.

The district has cited a combination of expiring COVID-19 relief funding, low funding from the state legislature, and declining enrollment as factors in the financial shortfall.

“We are fortunate to serve a community that supports its local schools and the people behind them,” said Kortemeyer. “We remain committed to balancing our budget and offering the best possible educational experience for our students. We want our staff and community to know that we will persevere through these challenges together.”

You can read Superintendent Amy Kortemeyer letter to district families and staff below:

Dear Families,

I am writing to let you know that, this past Monday during the Board of Education Meeting, the Linn-Mar Community School District announced approximately $2.5 million in reductions for the next, 2024-25, fiscal year.

To balance the budget, the district has made reductions in several areas, including those both related and unrelated to staffing.

These are very difficult decisions for us to make. Many school districts across the state are facing the same dilemma as we are, largely due to years of underfunding of state supplemental aid (SSA), the loss of ESSER (COVID relief) funding, and a drop in certified enrollment.

To date, we have taken several steps to address the budget shortfall, including gathering cost-saving ideas from staff, offering early separation incentives to teachers, extending these same incentives to administrators, and conducting a survey to gauge staff members’ intentions for the next school year.

The district made about $3 million in cuts this school year. However, next year’s reductions cannot be achieved through items unrelated to staffing, early separations, retirements, or resignations alone. Given that 80% of the district’s general fund budget comprises salaries and benefits, we will need to reduce our teaching staff by 19 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions and classified staff by 31 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions for the 2024-25 school year.

Staff members affected by the reductions have been notified. We expect that some class sizes will return to pre-pandemic levels as a result of these actions (i.e. 21-25 at the elementary level). We look to make these budget reductions while minimizing, as much as possible, the impact on our students and the quality education they receive.

Public schools are the heart of our community, and our collective voices can be used to advocate for adequate funding for public schools. Please consider contacting yourstate legislators about this critical issue.

Thank you for your support of the Linn-Mar Community School District and the students we serve.

Sincerely,

Amy Kortemeyer, Superintendent



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