Maize USD 266 considers dissolving its police department

Maize Public Schools (KSN File Photo)

MAIZE, Kansas – The Maize School District, USD 266, is considering dissolving its police department.

According to a statement from the district’s office, Maize’s state aid was reduced by $351,000, an estimated 1.5 percent, and dissolving the police department will save the school an estimated $80,000 per year.

The statement below was released by the Lori O’Toole Buselt, the Director of Communications for Maize Schools.

In a cost-saving measure, Maize USD 266 administrators will be recommending to the Maize Board of Education that the district dissolve its own Maize Schools police department and enter into a memorandum of understanding with the city of Maize police department to provide safety and security services for the district.

Safety will continue to be a top priority for Maize Schools, especially regarding its students. If approved, the city of Maize’s police department would offer the same quality services to the students, employees and schools of Maize USD 266. The recommendation would include that the board enter into a memorandum of understanding with the city regarding these safety services.

 In February, Maize Schools explained to our community that Gov. Sam Brownback’s allotment announced recently reduces general fund state aid to schools for the current academic year by 1.5 percent, which amounts to $351,000 for Maize Schools. Dissolving the Maize Schools police department is estimated to save about $80,000 a year.

 District administrators have continued to examine cost-saving options throughout the district and have, in some cases, opted to leave staff vacancies open upon employees’ retirements or resignations.”

KSN sat down with Maize Police Chief Matt Jensby to discuss the recommendation.

“This change just underscores just how deep cuts the state has handed down to school districts and the impact that it has,” said Chief Jensby.

The chief also serves as a current board member for USD 266. Jensby told KSN News that, if the board recommends that the district’s police department be dissolved, the city’s police department would step in to offer the same services the district’s police department is responsible for.

“The city and the district understand that the school – the safety of the students and staff is not just a school issue. It’s a community issue,” said Jensby.

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