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Wichita Students Head Back To Schools Facing Uncertain Funding Future

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Christopher Sessums
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flickr Creative Commons

Today is the first day of school for some Wichita students; USD 259's official first day is Wednesday.

As students return to class, the big question looming over Wichita Public Schools and other districts in Kansas is whether the state’s school funding formula is constitutional.

The school finance lawsuit is still before the Kansas Supreme Court, and the uncertainty stalled USD 259’s work on its annual budget.

Last week, Wichita Public Schools’ CFO Susan Willis presented the proposed $683 million spending plan, which includes more than $20 million in new funds.

“It may not be enough good news to make up for 9 years of budget adjustments and cuts, but it’s a step in the right direction," Willis told Board of Education members.

The board will hold a public hearing and possibly adopt the budget on Aug. 28.

The board is now in negotiations with Wichita’s teachers union over new teacher contracts.

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Nadya Faulx is KMUW's Digital News Editor and Reporter, which means she splits her time between working on-air and working online, managing news on KMUW.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She joined KMUW in 2015 after working for a newspaper in western North Dakota. Before that she was a diversity intern at NPR in Washington, D.C.