USD 259

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.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW/File photo

Without a constitutionally equitable school finance system, public schools across Kansas will not be able to operate beyond June 30. That’s because of a state Supreme Court ruling requiring legislators to make funding more equitable between school districts. Hearings on the matter are scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

The Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools met Monday night and discussed the potential shutdown.

Wichita Public Schools

Wichita Public Schools is considering ending this school year early. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports that members of the Board of Education will discuss the potential change at a regular meeting Monday night.

USD 259 is considering ending the school year for students on Friday, May 20, instead of the currently scheduled Tuesday, May 24. That would save the district approximately $400,000. The savings would then be applied to the nearly $23 million that needs to be cut from the districts budget to balance costs and expenditures for next year.

Wade Morgen / flick Creative Commons

On Monday night, the Wichita School Board approved an expense of up to $2 million to update the district's cyber security. Representatives from USD 259 say steps are being taken to keep its computer network safe after an attempted hack of the district-wide system last year.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Budget cuts are looming at Wichita Public Schools with the board soon making recommendations for the next fiscal year. The district is facing an estimated $16 to 30 million cost increase.

Abigail Wilson

Wichita Public Schools could face up to $27 million in cost increases for the 2017 fiscal year. The district’s top financial official discussed the number on Tuesday to provide a first look at the challenges ahead with no increase in state funding in the foreseeable future.

USD 259’s budget is essentially the same as it was last year, but with high amounts of projected cost increases, the district’s CFO Jim Freeman says adjustments will have to be made.

Wichita Public Schools

When kids miss a lot of school days, it can affect their academic performance, and they can easily fall behind in learning.

Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent or more days of school, or roughly 18 days a year.

Educators say students who fail to show up for school in those early years--kindergarten through third grade-- also face an increased risk of dropping out of high school. This fall, the United Way of the Plains launched a new initiative called “Be There” to help solve some of the issues that contribute to absenteeism.

Wichita Public Schools

The Wichita Public School district has released enrollment numbers for the 2015-16 school year.

The report indicates that enrollment numbers for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade currently sit at 49,498 students, a level that hasn’t been seen in more than ten years. It’s an increase of 110 students over the previous academic year.

Overall enrollment for Wichita Public Schools is 51,113 students, a decrease of 197 students from the previous academic year.

USD 259 Reacts To Impending Funding Cuts

Feb 6, 2015
Wichita Public Schools

Governor Sam Brownback announced on Thursday that he was cutting funding for Kansas public schools at rate of 1.5 percent. That means a reduction of $28 million in funding across the board. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports how this might affect Wichita Public Schools…

The statewide cuts will take effect on March 7.

Wichita School Board President Sheril Logan says her district must clear $3 million from their budget, and they’ll need to do it quickly.

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