Wichita School Official: State's School Funding Plan Not Enough To Improve Student Success

Apr 10, 2018

Wichita Public Schools' chief financial officer says the Kansas Legislature’s $500 million school funding plan doesn’t make up for years of cuts.

CFO Susan Willis made her presentation to Wichita's school board Monday night.

The district estimates it will receive about $18 million in additional funding during the plan's first year and about $10 million a year for the four years after that.

Willis said that’s a sizable chunk of money, but it’s not enough to further the district’s achievement goals.

"We are still backpedaling from years of cuts, so for us to catch up and really make an impact on outcomes, 10 to 11 million dollars in those subsequent years is just not going to go too far," she said.

Board member Stan Reeser said the district has already proven it can keep schools open on a slashed budget. He says the money is instead needed for achievement goals like higher graduation rates and helping students in "challenging situations."

Sheril Logan, the board's vice president, said the school's already doing all they can with the funding they have.

"The problem is," she said, "we're in such a deep hole it's going to take a long time to dig ourself back out."

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Stephan Bisaha reports on education for KMUW in Wichita and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.