Confusion reigns over Wichita Public Schools budget cuts

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Para educators and temporary aid workers received letters in the mail about pay cuts to temporary jobs.

Those temporary jobs help some para educators make a little more money and still help students. Jobs such as lunch aids, are described as temporary aid jobs.

One para says she is seeing a nearly five dollar an hour pay cut.

"I'm so frustrated. I feel like this was really hidden," said Gitsa Menas-Huggins, a para educator for nearly 12 years.

"It wasn't talked about. We had no notification, our principals didn't tell us. It just feels like some of the people working most closely to our neediest kids are not being valued," she said.

There was confusion over where the cuts would happen. Some read the letter and thought that pay cuts would be happening to the para jobs as well which is not the case according to Wichita Public Schools spokesperson Susan Arensman.

"There was confusion, some people thought that that meant their entire jobs, their benefited position plus the temporary aid. It was only applying to if they had a temporary aid job," Arensman said.

The local union that represents para educators says that the pay cuts to temporary aid jobs falls outside of their scope.

The pay cuts to temporary aid jobs is a way to equalize pay for all temporary aid jobs. For employees that have worked in the field for many years, it will be a pay reduction; for new employees, the pay will be higher than it was a few years ago.

The equalized pay for temporary aid workers is expected to save $150,000.