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Wichita Public Schools Prepares For A Possible Summer Shutdown

Nadya Faulx
KMUW/File photo

Wichita Public Schools is hopeful the Kansas Legislature will develop an adequate school funding formula when lawmakers reconvene next month. However, the district says it needs to prepare if that doesn’t happen.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in March that the state's school funding formula is inadequate under the Kansas Constitution. If the state Legislature does not come up with an approved funding formula, there's a risk that Wichita Public Schools could face a possible shutdown on July 1.

The district's chief financial officer Susan Willis says a shutdown would affect their summer nutrition program, the latchkey program offered to parents, and when school would actually start in the fall.

“There’s [also] the impact to employees, those that are currently working and those that would be coming back and when do they come back," Willis says. "Then there's the impact on our facilities if we would potentially shut down, and how soon could we get all those facilities back up and running.”

Willis says a shutdown would also be problematic in putting a budget together for the next fiscal year. She says everything would get delayed, including the ability to pay employees and pay bills.

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

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