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Teachers Concerned About Budget Cut Impact

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- The Iowa City Community School District will be cutting $3.6 million from its budget for the next school year -- and the cuts have teachers worried.
Some of the most controversial cuts eliminated the fourth grade orchestra program, seventh grade football, and the seventh grade world languages program. 
There are 500 students enrolled in the seventh grade Spanish language district-wide, and 140 of them go to North Central Junior High School. 
That is the school where Emily Foley has taught Spanish for three years, and she said students stand to lose a lot in the cuts. 
"Surprised, we were so surprised. Because we have so many students taking seventh grade Spanish that it never entered my head that it could be on the chopping block," Foley said. 
Foley is worried that cutting language opportunities for all seventh graders will reverse a system put in place to help kids learn better. 
"Because, at the high school, the classes are longer, and so, we weren't getting in as many hours as they do get at the high school," Foley said. 
It means more early Spanish curriculum will need to fit into eighth grade classes, and Foley said, that can cut out a lot of understanding. 
"But I do know that they come in seventh grade and they're kind of scared and they're nervous about it. But by the time they leave, they're really confident, and most of them would say, that was a fun class and I learned a lot," Foley said. 
While Foley understands that the district needed to make cuts, she is disappointed that a program that only meets every other day had to be cut. 
"So we're not cutting a ton of teachers, which is great, but it's also too bad that that many students are going to be missing out on the opportunity," she said. 
The school board heard a lot of similar criticism from teachers at its regular board meeting on Tuesday night, but administrators said the cuts will likely happen as they have been laid out. Administrators have tried to make the least negative impact on students as possible in making the cuts, said superintendent Steve Murley. 
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