Archive for Thursday, July 9, 2009

School district battling more state budget cuts

July 9, 2009

Kansas public schools received more bad budget news July 2 from Gov. Mark Parkinson.

Parkinson announced additional cuts to the state budget, which included more than $39 million, or 2 percent, of funding that had previously been approved for public schools.

Basehor-Linwood School District Superintendent David Howard said this change meant the district would lose an additional $155,000 in state funding for the 2009-2010 school year.

“With that and other cuts already made, it amounts to about $537,000 less for next year,” Howard said.

The Basehor-Linwood Board of Education thus far has made several changes to its budget, including the elimination of Basehor-Linwood High School’s building trades class and increases to student fees for driver’s education, yearbooks, agendas and school lunches. The board also approved new annual fees for the Project Lead the Way classes at the high school and for bus transportation to students who live less than 2.5 miles away from school. All of these were part of the first phase of budget reductions and fee increases that strictly avoided personnel changes.

Phase one contains further budget alterations that have not yet been put into effect. Two additional phases were also created by the district outlining further areas of possible reduction if that became necessary.

“With the phase one cuts and the carry over we had from letting school out three days early, we should be all right,” Howard said. “There’s not much we can do right now because contracts are out, and with a growing district, we need those people.”

Howard is staying optimistic, though he knows the coming year will not be easy.

“We’ll survive,” he said. “It will be tight, but we’ll make it through, and hopefully we won’t have to cut anything else.”

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