Wichita Board of Education approves 2014-15 school budget

By: David Marcus Email
By: David Marcus Email

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WICHITA, Kan.- The Wichita Board of Education invited the public to comment on the newly proposed 2014-15 school budget tonight.

Surprisingly, no one from the public came forward to discuss the budget during the meeting at North High School.

The Board of Education wound up passing the new budget tonight unanimously, 6-nothing.

The nearly 684-million dollar budget comes in actually about 40 million higher than last year. It includes a two percent pay raise for teachers.

The budget also pays for bringing about 300 additional students into the district as well and also gives nearly an additional 9-million dollars towards Special Ed programs.

Some legislative changes brought an additional 18-million dollars into the district's important capital outlay fund.

"The change that was made by the legislature this year allowed us to spend money on software, which we've never been able do before," says Jim Freeman, Chief Financial Officer for Wichita Public Schools. "And we also are able to move some of our day-to-day maintenance costs over to the capital outlay fund."

The budget also lowers the local property tax rate and will result in about a 41-dollar credit for every 100-thousand dollars of a home's value.

The school district budget represents the single-biggest expenditure of any government entity in Sedgwick County.

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