Will School Districts Take a Haircut?

With the state of Kansas facing a budget deficit, it’s inevitable that state aid for K-12 spending is one item considered for trimming.

From the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Under the governor’s proposal, schools would lose $17.7 million this year — a reduction of $22 in the base state aid per pupil, as well as $350 per special education teacher. Next year, school districts would see an additional reduction of $66 per pupil. However, overall school spending would hold steady as more state funding goes to bonds, capital outlay expenses and the state’s retirement fund.

This might be a good opportunity for school districts to discover new ways of managing themselves. USD 501 Topeka, for example, is trying to get some administrators to retire early.

One troubling aspect of news reports (such as this one) dealing with the budget situation is the use of the word “slash” to describe reductions in spending. Granted, nobody likes to see their income go down, but the 5 percent pullback–OK, we’ll call it a cut–is something that any organization should be able to handle. “Slash,” on the other hand, brings up images of Friday the 13th movies and death and dismemberment.

Statewide, [state education chief Alexa] Posny said schools likely will begin cutting back on supply and book purchases for this school year and might cut back on field trips. Some jobs will be held open, and professional development might be canceled.

These are examples of some cuts that could be made. Now consider this: Do you pay for any of your own professional development?

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