Budget Update 2017-2018
The Wichita Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the 2017-18 budget during its August 28 meeting. The budget keeps the mill levy flat, invests 88% of the operating budget to directly support students, and reflects additional funding from the state. The total approved budget – $682.6 million – shows an increase of $20.6 million. The additional funds will be used to support priorities and programs established by the BOE. The Kansas Supreme Court heard oral arguments on July 18 as part of the on-going Gannon school funding lawsuit, with the question in front of the court about both adequacy and equity. Until such time as the court hears and subsequently rules on this consideration, the school funding formula went into effect so that there is a mechanism available to fund schools.
Some of the budget priorities that will receive additional funds include recruitment and retention through compensation, which includes adding teaching staff and salary increases that will be addressed through the negotiations process; expanding learning centers at three high schools and at-risk programs; expanding pre-k programs, expanding technical education and strengthening STEM programs and providing more technology for students.
The district received $28.2 million in new funds, but after covering $8.2 million in fixed costs increases from utilities, fuel and insurance, the increase for the district is $20.6 million.
More information can be found on the Wichita Public Schools Finance website.