Repayment relief: SBRC votes to forgive more than $9 million overspent by Davenport schools

Local News

Iowa’s School Budget Review Committee (SBRC) dismissed more than $9 million the Davenport School District spent without authorization.

The district is still responsible for the $2.7 million in spending that broke the rules.

The district illegally took millions of dollars, from its reserves for operating costs like paying teacher salaries.

Dr. Robert Kobylski, Davenport School District Superintendent says, “We had a favorable outcome in our meeting with the school budget committee. At the end of the day when it is all said and done, it’s a very good day for the students of the Davenport School System.”

Davenport School District was relieved of more that $9 million in overspending it would have had to pay back to its reserves. The amount reflects the district’s negative balance in 2019, but not for the $2.7 million that was spent back in 2016.

Kobylski says, “That amount represents the district’s deliberate defiance of state’s statue. That was an amount in our conversations with individuals at the state, they felt that it would not be appropriate to reward the district of those adult decisions that were made back in 2016.”

Now the district has to focus on budget reductions to get them to that number.

“In the plan that we presented in the SBRC instead of a reduction of 100 staff members, it was 20 staff members. So what does that look like and where does those reductions come from? That’s some of the options that the school district has to think about to meet that $2.7 million dollars in expenditure reductions, which is something that is required of us,” says Kobylski.

Kobylski says the decision comes with great responsibility,and it’s something he doesn’t take lightly.

“I know their decision carried great magnitude across the entire state. Our responsibility as a school district is to take this opportunity, and not squander it,” he says. “We have to make sure the opportunity in front of us directly impacts students learning outcomes. We have to make sure that the opportunity that was presented to us sets an example for other school districts across the state.”

Kobylski says this has no impact on the taxes in the community.

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