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With No Tax Plan Kansas Schools To Lose Millions In State Aid

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio

As a tax plan continues to elude the Kansas House of Representatives, the state is preparing for severe budget cuts in case the Legislature can’t close a $400 million budget hole.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, wanted to know just how badly an across-the-board 6.2 percent budget cut would harm schools.

The answer from the Kansas State Department of Education: $197 million statewide.

Locally, Kansas City, Kansas, schools would lose the most, $10.8 million next year.

"Cuts of this magnitude, which come on top of reductions that came with the switch to block grant funding, would be devastating," KCK schools chief of staff David Smith said in a statement.

The school district has already announced 30 layoffs next school year and says staff will be forced to take furloughs.

The Olathe School District would lose the most in Johnson County, $10.2 million.

Olathe Superintendent Dr. Marlin Berry says there is only two places to cut. “It’s going to have to be in programs and personnel when you start talking about $10 million after the cuts we’ve already been down since 2009-10.”

The Shawnee Mission School District stands to lose $8.2 million and the Blue Valley School District $6.1 million if the Legislature fails to pass a tax plan. 

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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