USD 259 to publish proposed budget

Wichita Public Schools (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas—At Monday night’s BOE meeting board members approved the maximum number the budget could reach and discussed how that could play out in the classroom.

“Our net expenditure budget for this year is $647 million,” said Jim Freeman, the CFO for USD 259.

That’s four million dollars less than last year.  Block grant funding has left USD 259 short for the coming school year and additional funding cuts were on the minds of board members Monday night.

“We’ve cut ten percent from every department and every school.  Rarely do we hear that,” said Board Member Sheril Logan.

For now the district is scrounging up cash by cutting non-salaried expenses.

“We have reduced a lot of the budgets that provide classroom supplies and some things like that, and some activity trips have been reduced.  So, we’ll start to feel it in the classroom this year,” Freeman said.

The mill levy could also see an increase from last year of about 2.8 mills, but board members noted that is less than the mill levy was in 2014.

Still short, they’ll also use three million dollars from their reserve fund. Something that puts them in a vulnerable position in the case of an emergency.

“With this year’s budget we’ll be down to about six days of operating costs in our reserve fund,” Freeman said.

Board members approved this proposal for public hearing which means the budget will be published for the public to see.  That will give parents and taxpayers a chance to comment before approval.  The hearing has been set for August 24th at 6:00 pm.

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