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USD 259 Outlines Options Facing Budget Cuts

Carla Eckels

Budget cuts are looming at Wichita Public Schools with the board soon making recommendations for the next fiscal year. The district is facing an estimated $16 to 30 million cost increase.

District Chief Financial Officer Jim Freeman says nothing is off the table as his staff continues to analyze data on how to balance the $437 million operating budget. Outsourcing custodial services, a possible four-day school week, and teacher reductions are all under consideration.

Freeman says some critics have said the district spends too much money on athletics or IB, the International Baccalaureate program.

"We keep a lot of students in school through those programs, and so we start dropping some of those off, and the impact on the students is going to be pretty great," Freeman says. "I guess the takeaway from this is that we’re doing the best we can to minimize the impact on students, but there’s going to be an impact."

Updates will be offered during school board meetings until the final budget is adopted in August. Freeman says the public will be invited to provide input through social media.

Here are the options USD 259 are looking over:


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.