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Education

Wichita Public Schools Begins Talks On Tight 2015-16 Budget

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Abigail Wilson
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Wichita Public Schools Superintendent John Allison, board president Betty Arnold and vice-president Mike Rodee listen at Monday's board meeting.

USD 259 Wichita Public Schools began preliminary talks Monday night about the budget for the upcoming school year.

The district's chief financial officer Jim Freeman mentioned several times during the meeting that the budget for fiscal year 2016 will be very tight. The estimated budget is $646,977,814, up about $4 million from last year.

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Credit USD 259
A slide from Monday's budget presentation.

"The other part of it that you have to understand is that KPERS increased by almost $8 million, so you weigh that back and forth and it winds up showing a negative in terms of what the expenditures really are," Freeman said.

Board members have described KPERS as a flow-through that just inflates the fund and never reaches the classroom. Freeman said new parameters for how to build and execute the budget have made it challenging to put together the budget.

The final budget presentation has been postponed until August 10th.