Wichita Public Schools

Brad Wilson / flickr Creative Commons

Several schools districts across Kansas saw a big increase in the number of students absent Thursday.

Attendance at public schools in Wichita, Dodge City and Garden City dropped significantly as immigrants across the country took part in an initiative seeking to highlight their contributions to U.S. business, economy and culture. Officials from all three districts said the absences couldn't be linked explicitly to the planned "Day Without Immigrants," but the number of students not in class was definitely higher than usual.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Wichita Public Schools' budget for this year has been proceeding according to plan. Next year, though, is another story.

On Monday night, Susan Willis, chief financial officer for the district, told school board members that budget planning for the 2017-18 school year is "the perfect storm of unknowns."

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

Members of the Wichita Public School Board met with a consultant Monday night to help narrow down characteristics necessary in hiring the district's next superintendent.

Dr. Michael Casserly, director of the Council of Great City Schoosl, helped board members outline what exactly the next superintendent of USD 259 will face. He previously helped with the district's 2008 search that lead to the hiring of current superintendent John Allison.

The Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools is asking the community for help deciding what characteristics the district's next superintendent should have. Information will be gathered using on online survey developed by the Kansas Association of School Boards.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

The Wichita School Board decided first steps in the search for a new superintendent Monday night.

Current district Superintendent John Allison recently took a job with Olathe Public Schools and will be leaving at the end of this school year.

Board members were adamant about including the community in the process and voted to use an online survey to gather input. The survey will be available within the next few days. The results will be used to create a profile of characteristics necessary for the job.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

Legislators from south-central Kansas gathered Thursday at Wichita State University for a public forum, the second one this week.

The forum began with a look at the state's projected $350 million budget shortfall for this fiscal year.

J.G. Scott, assistant director of fiscal affairs for the Kansas Legislative Research Department, told lawmakers that neither reversing the state's income tax exemptions nor increasing sales tax rates would fill the hole for 2017.

He gave two options for balancing the budget.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Wichita Public Schools will soon have to begin the search for a new superintendent.

In a unanimous vote, the Olathe Public Schools Board of Education chose to hire current Wichita Superintendent John Allison as Olathe's next superintendent of schools effective next school year. Allison will be given a base salary of $250,000.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Wichita Public Schools Superintendent John Allison has been named the only finalist for a superintendent position with Olathe Public Schools.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW/File photo

After winning a seat in the state Senate in the general election, Democrat Lynn Rogers says he will continue to serve on the Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools.

State law allows those elected to state office to continue serving on local school boards. In 2000 former Wichita school board member Jean Schodorf chose to keep her seat on the board when she was elected to the Kansas Senate. Her school board term expired in June 2001.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW/File photo

Update: The superintendent of Wichita Public Schools will get a bonus this year. Members of the local board of education voted in favor of giving Superintendent John Allison a more than $3,400 bonus, which is 1.5 percent of his $229,408 salary.

Sheril Logan, present of the board of education, said the district gave all of its employees extra funds this year including a nearly 4 percent raise for teachers.

The board also extended Allison’s contract through June 30, 2019.

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