USD 259

Abigail Beckman / KMUW/File photo

In a vote of 2329 to 601, Wichita teachers tentatively approved a teachers' agreement between United Teachers of Wichita and the USD 259 Board of Education. If the board approves the agreement at their meeting on Oct. 24, it will be the end of several months of negotiations that required the help of a federal mediator.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Wichita Public School Superintendent John Allison has been named a finalist for both a national and a statewide award.

The Green-Garner Award is the country’s top prize for urban school education leadership. It honors educators for excellence in leadership, professionalism and improving school achievements.

Allison was also a finalist for the Green-Garner prize in 2012. In a statement, he said the award honors the entire district’s achievements.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW/File photo

After months of contention, the local teachers' union and the USD 259 school board have come to a tentative contract agreement for the 2016-17 school year.

The contract contains a compensation package increasing the board of educations monetary contribution by 3.98 percent. Details of the tentative agreement include:

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

Tensions were high leading into Wichita Public School's Board of Education meeting last night. Hundreds of unionized teachers lined the street outside of North High School wearing red t-shirts and holding signs demanding respect and better treatment from the district.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW/File photo

Last week, leaders of the local teacher's union, United Teachers of Wichita, asked members to work only the hours mandated in their contracts on Monday to show unity in the midst of stalled contract negotiations with the district. That means arriving 10 minutes before the school day starts, taking a 40-minute duty-free lunch break and leaving 10 minutes after the day ends.

Shannan Muskopf / Flickr

Recent Kansas ACT scores were higher than the national average.

More than 24,000 Kansas students took the 2016 ACT college entrance exam, which, according to a new report from the ACT, is the highest number of test-takers in the past five years.

The state’s average test score was 21.9 out of a total 36 points. In the Wichita Public Schools district, the average score was 19.7; nationally, students scored an average of 20.8 points.

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.