Wichita Public Schools

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.

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.

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

At a meeting last night, members of the Wichita school board tentatively agreed to look toward finalizing savings for the district by eliminating certain hazardous bus routes and changing the start times for several schools.  KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports that an additional proposal could change the calendar for the next school year and possibly outsource custodial services. 

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.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

The USD 259 Board of Education will meet tonight.

Members of the public are scheduled to speak against about the possible closure of Metro Meridian Alternative High School and earlier start times for several schools. Both ideas are being considered by Wichita Public Schools as ways to save money for the upcoming school year.

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