School district cutting $2 million for 2015-16 budget; JoCo Senator wonders why?

Due to budget challenges, the Olathe Public Schools will be making approximately $2 million in budget cuts for the 2015-16 school year.

The cuts are due to increased costs and continued district growth in a time of reduced and frozen funding from the state, said Chief Financial and Operations Officer John Hutchison in a presentation to the Board of Education at its July meeting.

The district is expecting 417 new students to the district for this school year. The district has also seen an increase in utilities, the bus transportation contract, among other cost increases.

The budget cuts will be made through a variety of measures, including:

  • Eliminating vacant positions
  • Reducing support positions districtwide
  • Custodial staff reductions
  • Reduction of school budgets
  • Elimination of the elementary Spanish program
  • Elimination of the district mentoring program for new teachers
  • Reduction of hours for some paraprofessionals
  • Elimination of middle school library aides

“These types of cuts are not easy and will impact our district, but unfortunately in this tough economic time, they are necessary,” Hutchison said.

From Sen. Greg Smith’s Facebook page:

The Olathe School District is claiming they have been cut by $2 million due to the block grant, causing a loss of 80 teachers and the Spanish program. Where is the cut? I don’t see it.

school funding graph

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