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Davenport Schools vote to cut 46 positions to save more than 4 million dollars

Davenport schools will cut 46 positions and close down an alternative school in an effort to slash more than four-million dollars from the schools budget.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Davenport schools will cut 46 positions and close down an alternative school in an effort to slash more than four-million dollars from the schools budget.

 The budget plan is due to the state by Friday, February 21st. 

Davenport's school superintendent, Dr. Robert Kobylski, said he heard the comments and complaints about his original plan that he recommended to the board earlier in the week. 

At the February 20th meeting, the school board unanimously approved Dr. Robert Kobylski's new recommendations. 

"Based on that feedback, we understand what is important to our community," Dr. Kobylski said. "Clearly, we heard loud and clear that teacher librarians were a priority and that we had to readjust our model to affect what was essentially a very high priority for our school system."

The new and approved plan will close Keystone Academy, an alternative school. The closure will save $485,000. It will also cut six full time employees.
Dr. Kobylski says those students will be integrated into other schools.

Starting in September, teachers will now also teach a modified block schedule, with four blocks a day. This change will save $900,000 and cut 12 full time employees. 

They will also make changes to Mid-City High, taking away 9th grade in 2021. This will save $300,000 and cut 4 full time employees. 

The board will also create a policy on minimum class sizes, saving $300,000 and cutting 4 full time employees. 

 The district decided tonight to keep teacher librarians in the district, instead of laying off more than 10 in the original plan.

 Administrators will take a pay freeze next year, none of them will get any raises. The plan says this will save $160,000. Other district employees will get a 1.5% raise, instead of the original 2%, saving $700,000.

The plan will reduce specialists positions, saving $200,000 and cutting two full time employees. 

The Creative Arts Academy will be relocated into Sudlow, saving $470,000 and cutting seven full time employees.

The district will also redesign the Central office and administrative team, saving $650,000 and cutting 4 full time employees. 

 The superintendent says overall, the district will lose 46 employees.

The plan will cut 6 administrators, 1 nurse, 1 para, 1 clerical, 3 custodial, 4 other leaders non- bargaining. The plan will also cut 30 teaching positions, but Dr. Kobylski says 40 teachers plan to retire, meaning he will have to fill 10 teaching positions in September, if certifications match up. 

Dr. Kobylski said this budget plan could leave the district with 6 and a half million dollars of unspent funds next year.