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Wichita Public Schools Face Staff Cuts Due To Budget Restrictions

Carla Eckels

Wichita Public Schools is reviewing options to balance the budget for fiscal year 2016-17.

The $427 million operating budget was balanced last year by not having any salary increases, reduced staff through attrition, and the use of $3 million in the contingency reserve.

Chief Financial Officer Jim Freeman says the district is now faced with another flat budget for the next fiscal year with no new revenue increases coming from the state. He says the budget must be balanced and that the district is facing an estimated $16 to 30 million cost increase for transportation and health insurance.

"If I can get our cost increases down to that bottom end, the $16 million, then we might have a shot at not having staff cuts, but it’s going to be really, really hard to do that," Freeman says.

Freeman says there’s not enough dollars saved by cuts outside of employee salaries, so the district will possibly have to decide what kind of staff cuts are going to be involved.

He says the school board will be given options to review March 21.


Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Carla Eckels is Director of Organizational Culture at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.