Several residents and educators braved slick roads last night to attend a public meeting regarding proposed budget cuts in the Oelwein Community School district's 2020 budget.


The district's goal is to find $800,000 in cuts; this is due to lower enrollment numbers, and the amount of state aid the school receives each year  Teachers and other school officials are now trying to save as many programs as they can, from being eliminated.

School board members, teachers and others have been pouring over the budget, to try to find ways to keep as many programs and teachers as possible, but still reach the target goal of cutting $800,000.

Some areas of the budget have already been trimmed, including nearly $60,000 in savings by replacing regular lighting in all buildings with more efficient LED lights.

There are a total of 36 ways to cut money from the 2020 budget. They include: sending parents report cards via email instead of mailing them; drop the Wellness Center Membership for school staff; reduce summer positions; an art class reduction, by not using certified art teachers; drop a bus route,; eliminate a Gen Ed teacher, through retirement; reduce 1 full time maintenance position; drop a teacher from physical education; share superintendent Ehn with another district, or having him due additional duties as a principal; and numerous other budget cuts, that would total $1.18 million.

Teachers and parents were concerned about the reading program, the loss of a bus route, and several other proposals.

Superintendent Ehn says he will bring the comments back to the school board, and a decision on which things would be eliminated, could be made in March.