Keokuk Schools budget woes

(Keokuk, Ia.) More school districts around the country are being forced to cut staff, programs and positions.

Finances in the Keokuk School District are not as bad as some Tri-State districts, but cuts still may be necessary.

KHQA's Jarod Wells spoke with Keokuk Superintendent Lora Wolff today to find out what students and the community can expect.

How bad is the Keokuk School District budget?

"Right now it looks like we're going to have to cut $550,000 to $650,000," said Wolff. "A bulk of that we're going to do be able to do through atrrition, retirement and people moving around."

This isn't a new problem. Keokuk Superintendent Dr. Lora Wolff told KHQA the school district has been cutting money out of its budget since 1999, when it had to cut $1.1 million. Less money will be cut this year, but position cuts still will need to be made.

"People are going to suffer," said Wolff. "Anytime you have to do more with less, people are going to suffer. I think we're trying to do it in a way that the education of the students isn't suffering."

Wolff said entire programs will not be cut, but staff members may have to take on a bigger work load.

"We're trying to look at how we can do things differently," said Wolff, "to be more economically wise and just do a better job with what we have."

Will any of these cuts affect the students' education?

"I don't believe so," said Wolff. "I think they'll still be able to take the courses they want. They'll still be able to have the resources."

The school district has been getting less money since the state funding formula was changed. The district has been aggressively going after grants to replace some of that funding.

Wolff said many people may not understand why teachers and staff are losing jobs while the district is receiving grants.

She said grants given to schools have very specific purposes; they cannot be used for just anything the district may need.