DES MOINES, Iowa – The largest school district in the state is making plans for next year, and it starts with trimming the budget by more than $9 million.

Des Moines Public School Board held a workshop Tuesday night to go over the difficult decisions.

Since 2018, enrollment numbers at DMPS have dropped by more than 2,000 students meaning some staff positions will have to be cut, including 12 teaching positions.

“The reductions in middle school and elementary staff aren’t something designed to accelerate progress toward the goal, but it is designed to keep our system operating and keep equity among staffing at all level,” Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ahart said.

Those teaching positions include five at the elementary level and seven at the middle school level. The district said while positions will be cut, no one will be losing their jobs just moved to other positions.

Board Chair Dwana Bradley said there are concerns about actions at the state legislature with the approval of charter schools and using public dollars for private schools in the form of vouchers. That’s why they want the community to be informed about the budget so they can advocate too.

“Every year it’s like we get less, and we need to do more,” Bradley said. “There’s things that aren’t accounted for, costs rise every year and we steadily stay at this low SSA funding. And so the budget is so important because we want to make sure that the budget aligns to our board goals and we want to make sure we’re giving students everything they need to be successful.”

Board members will meet on Tuesday, April 12 to approve the budget for 2023.