School District

From the Desk of the Superintendent

Posted 6/29/2016

The equity solution our Legislators have sent to the Governor has been signed. It was sent to the Supreme Court and they have approved. We will continue with school. The article below talks about this approval and what lies ahead.

Mr. Henn

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4c5aae442efc4097a7a2742b4b92ecf7/kansas-supreme-court-accepts-latest-school-funding-changes

 

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT:

On Friday, May 27, 2016 the Kansas Supreme Court ruled on the fix to fund the schools in according to the constitution.  Although the court did say the capital outlay portion of the fix was considered constitutional the local option budget (LOB) was not.  Simply put, since the LOB is not constitutional, schools will be closed July 1 unless our legislators can fix this issue.

LOB is the part of school funding that our local taxpayers provide schools.  The LOB was originally allowed to provide supplemental money to schools for what the state did not provide.  Now it has become a necessary part of our district budget.  

What this means to our community is, should our schools close July 1 due to the lack of funding, we will lock our doors and all activities scheduled for our buildings will cease.   You may ask how does this affect the school year?  If we cannot have people working to clean the schools, set up technology, get ready for enrollment, we could be looking at a delayed start to the 16-17 school year.  Direction from Kansas Department of Education will be forthcoming to give suggestions as to how to deal with this closure.  As this becomes clearer, more information will be passed along to the community.

The Legislators have been challenged to correct this problem before June 30.  They will be meeting to deal with this issue and hopefully come up with a solution.  

Should you have any questions you can call to ask.  Since there are still so many unknowns as to how and what this will look like, I’ll do my best to try and answer them.  

Mr. Henn

Notes from the Superintendent

Posted March 13, 2015

It is budget time again for schools.  In Topeka there has been much talk about block grants and how this will affect our schools.  Below is a chart of how this will affect Wellsville schools.  Please remember this is proposed legislation.  There could be changes as well as not even accepted into law.

 

        

                           

                                      1                      2             3                   4            5             6                 7


All of the money listed above is state aid, however additional funding is received from county property taxes. 

Column 1 is our current state aid

Column 2 is the affect this year of the block grant if it passes in Topeka.

Column 3 is the difference between column 1 and 2.

Column 4 is the block grant applied next school year.

Column 5 is the difference between column 4 and 2.

Column 6 is the block grant applied in 2016-2017 school year.

Column 7 is the difference in columns 6 and 2.

 

As you can see, in column 3 we will lose approximately $135,903 THIS YEAR.  We must come up with this money by June 30.  This will be a difficult chore for to handle.  Next year, in column 5 it says we will gain $137,164, but this number is very deceiving.  As you can see in the KPERS row, this number is $118,348.  I cannot use this money to put into the classroom.  This is part of teacher’s retirement.  I cannot touch that money, so the actual new money I can put into the classroom is $18,816.  Then in 2016-2017 I will gain $58,262 new money.  Being cut $135,903 and gaining $77,078 over two years leaves us short $58,825. 

As with all changes there are positives and negatives.  One positive would allow the board more local control of the money, but as money continues to dwindle it will become harder for boards to choose how to spend money. 

Our community needs to be aware of what is happening in Topeka.  We have a fantastic community that is supportive of our students and schools.  I am always amazed by the support shown on random occasions.  I do appreciate all you do for our schools. 

Jerry Henn
Superintendent
jhenn@usd289.org
785-883-2388 ex. 3122

 


Posted Monday, February 9th

Patrons of USD 289,

I am sure many of you are aware of the proposed cuts to K-12 Education and to Higher Education that Gov. Brownback released recently. It is a 1.5% cut to K-12 Based Aid Per Pupil. The amount per pupil is currently $3852.00. With this 1.5% cut, it will drop to $3810.50. This is not a surprise to anyone who has been following the news and the State of Kansas’ Budget.

For USD 289 it means $49,248 less in our general budget for the current 2014-15 school year.  There is also a current bill in the senate, SB 71 if passed  will cut another $72,272 from our Local Option Budget, LOB known as the supplemental general budget.  This would come out of this year’s budget as well.  As you can see, this is a sizable amount of money that must be cut from our budget in the next 4 months.  The current contracts we must honor give us little wiggle room to cut money. Governor Brownback has stated his cut of $49,248 could be restored at a later time, but I cannot bank on getting that money back.   Basically, Kansas is in the top 10 of states for educating our students.  Why should we take a chance to lower the funding and possibly put education at risk? 

Last school year, administration looked at how to streamline our buildings by sharing more staff between buildings that became positive for our district.  We are currently looking at ways to reduce expenses without cutting staff.  Our students are our main focus and taking any personnel out of a position would not be favorable to our students.  We are working hard to make a positive impact on our students without cutting programs and staff. 

This news from our governor and legislators is upsetting in many ways.  Superintendents have seen this coming and have prepared for it by already reducing staff and cutting building budgets.  As the governor promised in his campaigning this fall, K-12 would not see any budget cuts, so these current cuts have come as a surprise to us all.  Restoring revenue streams to the people of Kansas by any means possible would be helpful, but just to get to zero is unacceptable. 

Our current budget is located at http://s3.amazonaws.com/scschoolfiles/374/289codes2015.pdf and is rather lengthy.  We are trying to work within our means, but as we continue this spring, cuts will need to be made.  In my short tenure with Wellsville schools, I have had the pleasure to meet many new people and dedicated staff.  We will continue to forge forward and improve our instruction for our greatest resource in Wellsville and in the state of Kansas, our youth.  I would urge you to contact our legislators in support of our schools.

 

 

 Jerry Henn
Superintendent
jhenn@usd289.org
785-883-2388 ex. 3122


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