Wichita Schools: We Need More Money

Despite the recent additions to the state aid budget, the Wichita school board says it needs more money from local taxpayers:

If Wichita school employees are to get more than a 1 percent raise this year, the district will have to increase the mill levy by 2 mills, school board members were told tonight.

In a workshop meeting, the board took an initial look at the district’s proposed $516 million budget for the 2007-08 school year. The new budget represents a 6.4 percent increase over last year’s $485 million.

With a $31million budget increase overall, Wichita schools would be able to provide about a 4 percent salary increase and keep up with the rising cost of health insurance for district employees, according to a plan presented to board members.

[snip]

The district will receive $18.4 million in new state revenue for 2007-08, part of a three-year, statewide school-finance plan. Nearly 67 percent of the district budget is state money. Last year’s total state funding was about $258.1 million.

District administrators plan to use the state money for scheduled salary increases and new staff including eight bilingual program staffers, 10 middle-school counselors, 22 high-school teachers, 25 elementary-school staff and 49 special-education positions

Source: Wichita School District Proposes Tax Increase, Wichita Eagle, July 16

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