Future Budget Cuts Shelve Plans for New Montessori School
DMPS announced in November 2017 its intention to build a new school at 3620 E. Douglas Avenue. The PK-6 school would have been the district’s second public Montessori school, and served some students currently attending Brubaker and Garton elementary schools.
Larger-than-hoped-for budget cuts will mean Des Moines Public Schools shelving plans for a new Montessori school on the city’s northeast side for the foreseeable future.
“The past several years of under-funding public education in Iowa is taking a toll, and our plan for a new Montessori school is a price that unfortunately must be paid,” said Dr. Thomas Ahart, superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools. “While the construction cost of the school building would have been met thanks to the statewide sales tax, the general fund expense of staffing and operating an additional school is simply not feasible at this time. As we prepare to reduce spending by millions of dollars, including not filling many teacher vacancies, this new school will simply not fit in our budget.”
Superintendent Ahart indicated that DMPS will have to reduce spending by the school district’s general fund by as much as $72 million over the next three years.
“Over the 110-year history of Des Moines Public Schools, the school district regularly adapted to changes in our community,” added Dr. Ahart. “Today, the needs of the families and neighborhoods in northeast Des Moines are a priority. However, until Iowa returns to supporting education in the way it has done historically, projects such as staffing and operating an additional new school must wait.”
DMPS announced in November 2017 its intention to build a new school at 3620 E. Douglas Avenue. The PK-6 school would have been the district’s second public Montessori school, and served some students currently attending Brubaker and Garton elementary schools. DMPS will continue ownership of the property, which was purchased in December 2017, for possible use in the future.