Hays schools using contingency reserves

HAYS, Kansas – The Hays School Board has been planning it for months.

“We’ve been anticipating using the contingency reserves since December to finish out this year, being able to pay all of our bills and balance our budget,” says Tracy Kaiser, Director of Finance for USD 489.

This week the board made it official, voting to use much of the district’s contingency reserve fund, to be able to make payroll in June.

“I don’t want to mislead people thinking that we’re you know that we weren’t going to be able to make payroll at all, but um that’s what we have designated this for is to help with that,” said Dean Katt, Superintendent.

The school district says that they hope they don’t use all of their contingency reserve this month and that they will start to slowly build that back up over the next few years.

Right now, there is $394,000 in the fund and the district doesn’t know when they’ll be able to build it back up.

But school members say they’re not concerned about further unexpected costs, saying this was the best option.

“Unfortunately, this next year we won’t be able to have any additional money to put back into contingency reserve so it will be more of a slow and steady type process, as we continue to build that,” says Kaiser.

The public will get to vote on whether they want to raise their taxes, with a local option budget increase.

If it passes, the money will be used to rehire elementary school teachers who were laid off in the budget cuts.

The ballots for that election will be mailed on June 11th and must be returned by June 27th.

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