Wichita Public Schools

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

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.

Wichita Public Schools

The Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools decided last night that the district will stop discussions about going to a four-day school week next school year.

In light of budget shortfalls and looming cuts to public education from the state, Wichita Public Schools needs to decrease expenditures. Going to a four-day school week would save anywhere from $5 to 6 million, but board members said there are too many complications that could come as a result of the change.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

A large, emotionally charged crowd gathered at the Board of Education meeting Monday night. Some were carrying signs protesting cuts to public education.

As has been the case in previous meetings, community members voiced concerns about budget-balancing measures being considered by Wichita Public Schools. Efforts to stabilize the budget include reducing the number of custodial staff, librarians and school nurses.

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.

Jimmy Everson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

The state of Kansas reduced its revenue projections for this fiscal year and the next by $228.6 million, further increasing the state's budget deficit. As a result, Gov. Sam Brownback proposed three plans for erasing the shortfall, one of which affects K-12 education.

The plan would cut spending to public schools, universities and most state agencies by nearly $140 million. Cuts ranging from 3 percent to 5 percent would reduce funding for school districts across the state by more than $57 million.

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