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Wichita Public Schools Evaluating Costs Of Possible Statewide Shutdown

el Neato
flickr Creative Commons

Kansas lawmakers will have to try again to make the school finance system equitable by June 30 or face a statewide shutdown. On Friday, the state Supreme Court struck down the latest legislation, ruling the funding formula was unconstitutional. For Wichita Public Schools, what happens next is all about timing.

USD 259 is evaluating what must happen before and after a potential closure. Turning off the district's major technology systems is a huge part of the "before" aspect, because that process could take up to three weeks and would likely result in data loss and hardware failure. District Superintendent John Allison says starting things back up would take twice as long.

“So this really is not a 'shut down a few days, [and] you catch up,'" he says. "If we have to get to the point where our major systems are being impacted, it will have a significant impact on our ability to start the school year.”

School administrators estimate it would cost several hundred thousand dollars to flip the switch on electricity in the more than 100 buildings in the district. Officials are drafting a motion to file with the Supreme Court asking for exemptions from a shutdown, including keeping electricity and major technology systems on.


Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

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