Linn-Mar cutting 19 teachers, 31 staff, cites ‘underfunding’ from state

Linn-Mar cutting 19 teachers, 31 staff, cites ‘underfunding’ from state

Starting Line file photo

By Amie Rivers

March 21, 2024

One of the largest school districts in Iowa announced it was cutting 50 staff positions, including 19 full-time teachers, beginning next school year.

The Linn-Mar Community School District announced Thursday it would be forced to cut $2.5 million from its budget for the 2024-25 school year. This comes on the heels of a $3 million cut this past school year.

The district, covering Marion and elsewhere in Linn County, is the state’s 12th-largest school district, with nearly 7,800 students across 12 schools.

In a letter to parents and students, Superintendent Amy Kortemeyer explained the rationale for the district-wide cuts.

“These are very difficult decisions for us to make,” Kortemeyer wrote. “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.”

Kortemeyer cautioned that class sizes would likely rise, particularly at the elementary level, as a result of the cuts. She encouraged parents and students to contact their state legislators to ask for more funding for public schools.

“Public schools are the heart of our community, and our collective voices can be used to advocate for adequate funding for public schools,” she wrote.

The Iowa House passed a 3% increase in public school funding in February, but the Iowa Senate has not yet passed its version, blowing through a deadline to do so. Districts are mandated to submit their budgets to the state by April 15 each year.

  • Amie Rivers

    Amie Rivers is Starting Line's community editor, labor reporter and newsletter snarker-in-chief. Previously, she was an award-winning journalist at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier; now, she very much enjoys making TikToks and memes. Send all story tips and pet photos to [email protected] and sign up for our newsletter here.

CATEGORIES: EDUCATION
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