Archive for Wednesday, April 24, 2002

School district prepares for possible budget cuts

April 24, 2002

Although there has been no decision made by the Kansas Legislature, Basehor-Linwood School District officials are preparing for the worst.

Facing a budget shortfall upward of $700 million, state legislators have proposed several bills to balance the budget.

Some of those proposals include reducing the base per pupil allocation from $158 to $303, or raising the rate paid per student by $10 or $20.

State Senator Dave Adkins said public education funding would be cut only if no other alternatives were available. (See related story on page 7A)

"I think the minimum position on education is to spend at least as much as last year," Adkins said.

"It's going to be tough. We have to make the books balanced and we have a lot of tough decisions ahead," he added.

However, school officials are making preparations for the worst of the scenarios, a $303 per pupil reduction proposed by the House Appropriations Committee.

If the most recent proposal is approved, the Basehor-Linwood School District would have to cut more than $900,000 from last year's budget, school officials said.

A letter detailing what programs would be cut, should the proposal be approved, was mailed out to school district parents last week.

"Our purpose was to let the public know what could happen if the Legislature took the most drastic action," said Cal Cormack, Basehor-Linwood School District superintendent.

And while some area school districts are cutting positions and programs to reduce budgets, the Basehor-Linwood School District is in position to avoid laying off educators.

"While we think we have it tough, we aren't as bad off as some other districts," Cormack said.

The biggest reductions the school district would enact should the $303 reduction receive legislative approval include:

eliminating new textbook adoptions, saving the school district $100,000. The school district budgets that

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