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WPS building budget with three different funding scenarios

WPS building budget with three different funding scenarios

Chief Financial Officer Susan Willis gave an update on the budget development process during the May 4 Board of Education meeting. Willis said COVID-19 has had an impact on the state of Kansas’ revenue estimates and ending balances, which matters because more than 50% of Kansas’ general fund supports K-12 education.  Read the BOE presentation. Watch the BOE presentation.

Willis shared with the BOE that the majority of our funding comes from the state, with the remainder coming from local and federal funding. When one of these revenue sources is impacted negatively, school funding is at risk.  Willis also shared stats to show that there is not a lot of room in our budget without negatively impacting employees and programs:

  • 87% of our operating budget directly supports students
  • 5% of our general fund is for employee salaries and benefits
  • 64% of our funding is restricted, meaning the funds can only be spent on the identified program or grant.

Right now, WPS has put on hold non-essential spending, focusing on spending on items that support the continuous learning plan. The district hopes to capture utility savings and other savings to use next year.

WPS will make budget plans for three funding scenarios: receiving the anticipated new money; no new money but receive the same amount as last year, and with a 5 – 15% budget cut.

“Next year’s budget planning is difficult as loss in state sales and income tax revenues could result in cuts,” Willis said. “We will hope for the best and plan for the worst.”