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Cuts Proposed for CR Schools

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - (CBS2/FOX28)  Cedar Rapids is the latest school district to take a magnifying glass to its budget in search of balance.  The difference may be that business directors say they're confident they can make some cuts without leaving any scars.
The Cedar Rapids School District needs to find nearly $6 Million in adjustments.  At a work session Monday afternoon at the administration center, Superintendent David Benson started the discussion by telling the board the changes could be made without cutting teachers.  Dr. Benson says his philosophy is to hire good people and take care of them.  He says there are times when job descriptions and locations may change, but he's certain there will be spots for any teachers impacted by shifts in funding.

Plans were already underway to change some Cedar Rapids middle schools to an eight block day.  Other districts that have made that transition have found they can have teachers handle additional classes and it reduces the total number of teachers required. Teachers historically complain that it also leaves them with very little time to do lesson plans and adequately prepare for their students.

Other changes that may be unpopular include more efficient high school bus schedules and elimination of some custodial jobs.  Executive Director of Business Services Steve Graham says it's never an easy process, but he feels very good about delivering a high quality program next year despite the difficult choices.  Graham says he will consider any concerns expressed by the board and continue to work on the budget adjustments until a budget vote at a later date.



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