DMPS Releases FY 2012 Budget Proposal

The Des Moines Public School district is faced once again with having to make budget reductions to maintain a balanced fiscal year 2012 budget, but administration was able to propose a budget that keeps cuts away from K-12 classrooms and maintains current levels of programming.

The $439 million fiscal year 2012 proposed budget works within the parameters set forth by the school board to keep student-teacher ratios and educational programming at current levels so the district can continue to increase the graduation rate and lower the dropout rate.

The proposed budget also includes recommendations from the volunteers who served on the Citizen’s Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC). Recommendations include a property tax increase in Des Moines and consideration of outsourcing and other measures in the operations department. The CBAC also recommended wage concessions of district employees, including wage freezes and furloughs, but discussions regarding those topics must take place during collective bargaining and were not included in the proposed budget.

Contributions to balance the fiscal year 2012 budget include a total of $7 million from three areas: federal, community, and district.

“Maintaining quality education for our children remains our number one priority,” said Dr. Nancy Sebring, superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools. “We are asking the federal and state government, the community, and also the district to share the responsibility so that we can continue to provide a first-class education for our students.”

Since 2002, the district has endured about $66.6 million in cuts, including an unprecedented 10 percent across-the-board cut in fiscal year 2010 alone.

The school board has scheduled six public forums to discuss the budget. Dates and locations for the forums, and the proposed budget in its entirety can be found on the district’s website,