Wichita Schools Still Uncertain About Funding Under New School Finance Bill

May 1, 2018

Although a new school finance bill is awaiting Gov. Jeff Colyer’s signature, Wichita teachers and administrators still feel uncertain about the future of school funding.

Wichita Public Schools and the local teachers union met Monday night to negotiate how many peer consultants the district should hire with additional state funding.

But the discussion was tabled after an hour.

The reason: The group wasn’t convinced the Kansas Supreme Court will find the school funding increase adequate. The district is still uncertain how much money it will receive in the fall.

Outside the meeting, union president Steve Wentz said this does create tension, but for now they're focusing on other issues while they wait for the court's decision.

"Pretty much all of it is a waiting game when it comes to the money issues," Wentz said. "We're trying to work our way through the stuff that isn't attached to money."

Wentz added that this isn't the first time they've had to wait for the courts and Legislature to work out school funding.

"It would be nice if this is something new but it’s not," Wentz said. "It’s kind of like Groundhog Day, repeating ourselves here."

Oral arguments before the court are expected to begin later this month with a decision expected at the end of June.

Stephan Bisaha, based at KMUW in Wichita, is an education reporter for 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.