Schools could loose $197 million in funding

Schools could lose another $197 million in funding for the fiscal year starting July 1 if the Legislature opts to allow across-the-board spending cuts rather than filling the state’s budget deficit with new revenue.

On Tuesday, the Kansas State Department of Education prepared tallies at the request of the governor’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, showing the district-by-district effects of slicing 6.2 percent off state aid for schools.

The Kansas City, Kan., district would suffer the largest blow in the Kansas City metro area, losing almost $10.8 million. Olathe is next, facing a $10.3 million cut. The Shawnee Mission district would lose $8.3 million, and Blue Valley $6.1 million.

Topeka Unified School District 501 would lose $6.13 million and Wichita USD 259 would lose $22 million.

Kansas City superintendent Cindy Lane said she believes the threat of cuts is a scare tactic meant to pressure lawmakers into resolving tax talks that have dragged on and turned this year into a record-long legislative session.

Lane said she is unsure how her district would absorb a $10.8 million loss, because it is too late legally to non-renew employees under contract for the 2015-16 school year.

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