Davenport School Board Votes to Cut 83 Staff Positions
The Davenport School Board voted to cut 83 staff positions after Iowa's School Budget Review Committee didn't like the board's original budget plan. This according to Ourquadcities.com and Local 4 News. The media outlet called the cuts "historic" and Davenport Education Association President Cari Johnson told Local 4 News that she doesn't think the district has ever had to lay off that many people.
It also has teachers jumpy, and the union attempting to reduce the number of staff cuts. The school board's original plan had six full time staffers being cut and more reductions in staff being phased in over the next five years. The change in direction blindsided the Davenport Education Association. At this point the union hopes to reduce the number of cuts through teachers taking early retirement and leaving some positions unfilled.
I think teachers and staff are important. Losing 83 staff members, especially if many of them interact regularly with students is a scary prospect. We're already seeing that a lack of strong parental involvement is creating in uptick in juvenile crime and mischief here in Davenport. I think taking away adults who might have a positive impact on a student might make the problem worse.
There's going to be cuts in Davenport Schools. It's the only way to come up with a budget plan. I just hope they'll reexamine what they're cutting and see what else can be cut before staff that interacts regularly with students. It's the educator who can impact a child's life. That shouldn't be undervalued.