USD 259

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

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?

el Neato / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers will have to try again to make the school finance system equitable by June 30 or face a statewide shutdown. On Friday, the state Supreme Court struck down the latest legislation, ruling the funding formula was unconstitutional. For Wichita Public Schools, what happens next is all about timing.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Wichita Public School teachers and other certified staff and faculty have voted to shorten the upcoming academic year and lengthen school days by 30 minutes. The change is needed in order to trim about $3 million from the district’s budget.

The United Teachers of Wichita, a teachers union, reports that out of the 4,045 votes that were cast, nearly 69 percent voted to amend Wichita Public School’s calendar.

Students will now attend 158 days next year instead of 173. Teachers will work 175 days instead of 190.

Chris, flickr Creative Commons

Members of the Wichita teachers union will vote Monday on a contract change that would lengthen the school day and shorten the year. KMUW's Abigail Wilson reports the change would save Wichita Public Schools $3 million and is part of a more than $22 million reduction in spending districtwide.

Courtesy Eric Hammond

The last day of classes at Wichita’s Southeast High School is tomorrow, and there’s nostalgia in the air as teachers pack up and prepare to move from the current school at Edgemoor & Lincoln to their new building in east Wichita.

History and government teacher Eric Hammond says Southeast is a busy place.

"There's boxes galore," he says. "Boxes everywhere."

He, along with other staff and students, are moving. Hammond has been teaching at Southeast High School for six years.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

The Wichita Public Schools Board of Education is holding a special meeting tomorrow to discuss the district’s 2017 budget. The administration is recommending that the board approve several cost-saving measures, including either closing or outsourcing all of the city’s adult learning centers.

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