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Wichita Public Schools Planning For Worst-Case Scenario In Possible School Shutdown

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Abigail Wilson
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KMUW/File photo

Without a constitutionally equitable school finance system, public schools across Kansas will not be able to operate beyond June 30. That’s because of a state Supreme Court ruling requiring legislators to make funding more equitable between school districts. Hearings on the matter are scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

The Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools met Monday night and discussed the potential shutdown.

USD 259 Superintendent John Allison said although a definitive answer from the court could take weeks, the district must plan for the worst-case scenario--in this case, a complete district-wide shutdown. If that happens, Wichita Public Schools would not be able to raise, distribute or spend any money.

“There’s significant potential that we could be moving through June and not know where we’re going to be," Allison says. “We have to move forward as though it will happen.”

If the shutdown takes place, the district will not be able to issue checks to teachers or pay its bills. Summer nutrition sites and Latchkey programs will be shut down, and students will not be able to access records for college admissions, scholarships or work opportunities.

The district is in the process of drafting a motion to file with the state Supreme Court that would ask for exemptions from a potential shutdown, including being able to keep the electricity and major technology systems turned on.

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Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter @AbigailKMUW

 

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