With COVID-19 becoming a world-wide pandemic, forcing the closure of schools and non-essential business along with the cancellation of events big and small across the nation, Des Moines Public Schools began making plans to adopt the FY 2021 budget in a safe and transparent manner.

Rather than our normal process of holding public forums in late March and early April, in order to adopt our budget by April 15 as in past years, DMPS has consulted with the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Management, the Polk County Auditor, and the Iowa Association of School Boards to develop a new plan to present and approve our budget.

This year the school district is holding an online budget forum. How does it work? Simply view the video below, with Superintendent Tom Ahart and CFO Shashank Aurora, presenting details about the proposed budget. Then, if you have a question or comment, click the link in the box below to submit online.

Budget form iconHave a question or comment about the proposed budget? Click here to submit online.

If you would like more details on the proposed budget, download the following documents:

The School Board will consider and adopt the FY 2021 at its meeting on May 19 beginning at 6:00 PM. That meeting will take place virtually via Microsoft Team. Click here to attend the meeting online, or Or call (319) 359-6302 and enter the conference code 748567751#. If you would like to comment on the budget or any other item on that meeting’s agenda, please email erin.jenkins@dmschools.org in advance of the meeting.


The following are questions submitted via the online form and the response provided by the school district:

On this slide, titled “Recommendations for FY 21,” there is a line: Program Elimination: $140,000. What program is this referencing?

Des Moines Public Schools has enjoyed having an AmeriCorps program for 10 years where members have been able to support the educational needs of students in the areas of tutoring and mentoring. We are so proud of the service members have provided. Unfortunately, there are several factors that have coalesced to have made the program unsustainable, including the ability to recruit members and the required match from the district. With the conclusion of the grant, the AmeriCorps program will be eliminated, and the district will save approximately $140,000 a year from General Fund expenses. The district will maintain the volunteer structure that was developed as a result of the grant; however, the grant-funded AmeriCorps program will not continue.