Wichita School Board Will Publish Budget

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Wichita Board of Education members vote to publish the $628 million budget proposed for 2012-2013. The board will vote on the budget on Aug. 27.

The board is moving forward with the budget after members of the United Teachers of Wichita voted to ratify their contract.

"It's really important that we have a competitive wage so that we can keep our really good teachers and we can encourage more teachers to come when we need them," said Lynn Rogers, president of the Wichita Board of Education.

The proposed budget also showed an increase in staff by 66 jobs in areas of growth like special education.

School funding for 2012-2013 increased $58 per pupil to $3,838. It remains lower than the $4,433 per pupil in 2009.

"We weren't having to make massive cut recommendations in the budget. We weren't having to RIF employees. Those have been some really tough decisions the last couple of years but they helped put us in position where we are today," said Superintendent John Allison.

The board also approved to take six bond issue projects off of “pause and study.” Projects at Bostic Elementary and Lewis Academic Learning Center will proceed. Four elementary schools which closed at the end of the last school year will be taken off the list, including Bryant, Emerson, Lincoln, and Mueller . There are 15 projects remaining on pause and are still being studied.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

The United Teachers of Wichita announced Monday the ratification of the Tentative Agreement between UTW and the USD 259 Board of Education.

Of the 4,018 teachers eligible to vote, 2,626 cast ballots and 88 percent of them voted to approve the contract.

The agreement contains the first raise for teachers in four years, along with new Professional Dress language for teachers.

The value of the total compensation package is 4.04 percent. Highlights of the agreement include: one percent increase to the salary schedule; no changes to the employee health plan; and two separate study committees to focus on professional development and to focus on evaluations in light of the recently-announced No Child Left Behind waiver for Kansas.

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