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Wichita School Board Approves $683M Budget

Wichita Public Schools

The Wichita Public School Board voted unanimously Monday to approve the district’s budget for fiscal year 2018.

The nearly $683 million budget reflects an increase in state aid. In total, USD 259 has more than $20 million in new funds for the current school year.

Speaking with reporters during a briefing before the board meeting, District CFO Susan Willis said the additional funds will go toward critical areas like recruitment and retention of teachers, the district’s programs for at-risk students, and curriculum and textbook needs.

“We do have funding coming in and we’re going to focus that funding based on a set of priorities established by the board and Dr. [Alicia] Thompson," Willis said.

She said even though the Legislature passed a school funding plan that’s now before the Kansas Supreme Court, the school district still faces funding uncertainty.

“We’ve still got probably another few months of budget uncertainty, if not perhaps into another year," she said.

The Supreme Court has yet to rule whether the funding plan is adequate.

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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.