Sunday, November 28, 2010

USD259 Public Budget meeting scheduled for Tuesday 11-30


On Tuesday at 6:30pm, a committee made up of district staff, parents and business representatives will meet to hear preliminary budget projections and set a course for gathering input from the public. The meeting is open to the public.

Despite a new 1 percent increase in the state sales tax, the State is expected to face a $450 million dollar financial shortfall this session which will have a serious impact on school funding. Kansas lawmakers will also have to find ways to replace about $200 million in federal funds that expire in June. Absent those dollars, schools could see state aid reduced by as much as $300 per child.

This will be the third year of serious cuts to the district's budget. USD259 cut about $14 million from its budget last year. The district eliminated 117 positions, cut the driver's education program in high schools, closed Metro-Midtown Alternative High School, consolidated bus routes, suspended the Grow Your Own Teacher program and did away with school resource officers at middle schools. And those reductions followed $34 million in cuts that the district made in 2009.

"It was hard this past year," said school board president Connie Dietz. "But depending on what the extent (of state-aid cuts) is, it could be devastating."

At Tuesday's meeting, which is open to the public, the committee will get "a first look at what the budget reality looks like and what our plans are for moving forward," Allison said.

What: School Budget Meeting featuring a discussion on current budget projections and possible cuts for the coming school year.
Where: School Service Center training room, 3850 N. Hydraulic
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

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