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Iowa City School District announces its intention to “retire” Hills Elementary



Hills, Iowa – “I hope they don’t close it down; honestly, it’s the nicest and closest school around here,” said Acevedo.

While picking up her child on Tuesday, Acevedo expressed her concerns, along with many other parents, regarding the Iowa City School District’s recommendation to close Hills Elementary School. To reduce expenses, the board suggested closing the almost 60-year-old school.

“I really like that the kids can walk to school rather than bus or us having to pick them up before or after work,” said Daniel Bryd.

School administrators stated that the budget had to be lowered by more than $7 million. Superintendent Matt Degner outlined the plans to cut more than $3 million this year during a board meeting on Tuesday. He estimated that the district would save roughly $1.6 million by closing Hills Elementary.

“This wasn’t easy,” he said. “If we thought there was a better recommendation, we would have brought that forward.

According to Degner, the school’s dwindling enrolment and financial constraints render it untenable to continue operating.

“The impact is dramatic and would be cascaded through the rest of the system with what the alternatives might be,” said Vice President of the ICSD J.P. Claussen.

The other primary schools, according to the district, are about 70% full and might take Hills pupils. But Bryd was concerned that his kids wouldn’t receive the same education.

“I just don’t see the child-to-teacher ratio being that great to absorb a whole school as well as extra bus driver and stuff like that,” he said.

In late March, the board will decide on whether to close the school.


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