USD 259

Abigail Wilson / KMUW/File photo

Updated on 08/23/16 at 10:00 a.m:

The Wichita Public Schools board voted on Monday to approve the budget for the next school year.

The 662 million dollar budget passed 5 to 0, with 2 board members absent.

Alex Starr, flickr Creative Commons

A final vote on the proposed budget for Wichita Public Schools has been scheduled for Aug. 22. Members of the local school board looked over the budget at a meeting on Monday night.

The plan, which totals nearly $662 million, cuts certain expenses by about $22 million to account for the increased costs for healthcare, transportation and utilities.

Schools around Kansas are just a couple of weeks from opening for the new school year, but about three dozen districts say they need more state aid and have applied for extraordinary needs funding.

In all, 37 districts are asking for about $8.4 million from the state Board of Education. There is about $15 million in the pool. All districts contribute a small portion of their state aid to the pool.

Two of the biggest requests come from the two of the smaller districts in this area: Spring Hill in Johnson County and Basehor-Linwood in Leavenworth County. 

Chris, flickr Creative Commons

With the beginning of the school year a little more than a month away, Wichita’s public school district has an unusually high number of teacher vacancies.

Elementary schools in the district have the most openings at 13, followed by high schools and middle schools with 10 each. Special education programs in the district are short by 34 teachers.

Shannon Krysl, chief human resources officer with USD 259, says the number of unfilled positions is down significantly since June, when there were nearly 70 vacancies in elementary schools alone.

Larry Darling, flickr Creative Commons

Starting Monday, parents can go online to enroll their children in Wichita Public Schools using a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Returning students in USD 259 can be enrolled using an active account with the district’s web portal, ParentVUE. Enrollment forms, class schedules, information on district policies, and waivers are also available online. Parents can also pay for school meals and take care of enrollment fees through the web portal.

Wichita Public Schools

Updated: Kansas schools will be able to keep their doors open and the threat of a potential statewide shutdown is over. The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that a bill passed by lawmakers last Friday and signed by Governor Sam Brownback on Monday, fixes inequities in school funding between rich and poor districts.

Now, the court will move on to the larger question of whether the Legislature is providing adequate funding to schools, which officials say could involve hundreds of millions of dollars. A date for those arguments has not been set.

Chris, flickr Creative Commons

A new plan to fund public schools got a big boost today when some districts that stand to lose money said they would support the proposal.

Several wealthy districts in Johnson County will lose overall funding, which will go to assist poorer school districts. Todd White, superintendent of Blue Valley Schools, says they’re willing to compromise and accept the bill in order to keep schools from closing.

Courtesy Partners for Wichita

A local program that provides free healthy meals for children at risk of hunger during the summer is asking for urgent help from the community.

The Filling the Gap Lunches for Kids program serves more than 800 children at more than a dozen sites in the Wichita area each day. But because Wichita’s public schools are starting later this year, the program will be providing meals to students for a week longer than expected.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW/File photo

Members of the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education have adopted a calendar change approved by the local teacher's union last month.

The overall school day will be 30 minutes longer, and the school year will be 15 days shorter for students in the district.The change trims about $3 million from next year's budget.

Betty Arnold, president of the local board of education, says the new calendar was one of two options proposed to reduce costs for next year.

Now that the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that the Legislature failed to fix inequity, school districts must seriously plan for a possible shut down on June 30.

Here's some questions school officials and parents may be asking.

Are the schools really going to close on June 30?

Pages