School leaders look ahead to cuts

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) –  Some important decisions are on the way for Wichita schools this week.

The USD 259 Board of Education will consider more cuts at their board meeting on Monday night.

Two weeks ago, the district voted unanimously to close school two days early to save money.

USD 259 Board President Betty Arnold says, somewhere there will be individuals upset with decisions the board will make, but they have to make a decision.

“The board is going to have to take a serious look at putting together a combination of things that will get us to that magical number that we need of, I think it’s a remaining 12 to 20 million dollars,” said Arnold.

Arnold says things they will be looking to trim, to get to that magic number, are transportation, insurance and examining class sizes.

Also up for consideration, is consolidating some schools like Metro Meridian High School.

“The bottom line is something is going to be cut, somewhere, somewhere there are going to be individuals that are going to be upset with decisions the board will make, but we have to make a decision,” said Arnold.

Also looming, is a decision from the Kansas Supreme Court on whether the state has come up with an equitable funding mechanism for schools.

While it’s a decision, Arnold says, she hopes comes sooner than later, she’s worried about what that decision could mean for schools going forward.

“If the state says we can’t find education then what is the alternative? That’s what’s more frightening to me because that alternative could be closing down schools period,” said Arnold.

The board meeting is set for 6:00 p.m. Monday night at Wichita North High School.


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