Wichita School Board

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Wichita’s school board heard the first draft of the district’s $686 million budget Monday night.

The new budget represents an increase of $43 million over last year's budget. Of the new money, $25 million is locked in for funds like KPERS while the remaining $18 million exists in the more flexible general, supplemental and weighted funds.

The main driver of the larger budget is increased state aid. Higher property values also helped. The mill levy rate is also being lowered with the new budget.

The increased funding is a break from years of shrinking budgets.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

In negotiations with the local teachers union, Wichita Public Schools is offering a compensation package for teachers representing a 4.7 percent increase. That would be an additional $2,350 for the average teacher's salary. 

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Some Wichita residents are upset about fences being erected around elementary school playgrounds.

The fences were approved last May during a Board of Education meeting. Fences are to go up around the playgrounds at all of the district’s elementary schools.

During Monday’s school board meeting, members cited the safety of children as the reason for the fencing, with $230,000 dedicated to the project set to be finished before the end of the year.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File Photo

Wichita Public Schools is mandating all students and staff watch an active shooter training video.

The video was required viewing when it was first produced by the district in 2015 using the district’s drama students. It became a recommendation in 2016, but will be mandated again starting next school year.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

The new mission of Wichita Public Schools says that the district’s objective is to prepare students "to achieve college, career and life readiness through an innovative and rigorous educational experience."

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

A focus on both college and career readiness. More investment in resources and staff. Helping students develop mentally and socially -- not just academically.

Futurokids259 / Facebook

Wichita’s school board will add four new members this week -- including its first Hispanic member.

Kansas News Service/File Photo

The former legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas thinks a practice among some school boards of restricting patron complaints at public meetings eventually will end up in court.

Doug Bonney, legal director emeritus for ACLU Kansas, said if barring complaints about school board members, the superintendent or employees is common, that doesn’t make it right.

Courtesy Pilar Pedraza

Wichita’s Board of Education selected a new member Monday night. Ernestine Krehbiel was appointed in a 4-2 vote.

Wichita Public Schools Twitter

Members of Wichita’s school board interviewed three candidates Wednesday night to fill the seat that opened up when former District 3 representative Barbara Fuller resigned last month.

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