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Wichita school board approves $628 million budget

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, August 27, 2012, at 9:11 p.m.

The Wichita school board approved its $628 million budget on Monday with no discussion or public comment.

The budget, about $22 million more than last year’s, keeps the local property tax rate flat and includes the first raise for teachers and other employees in four years.

Board members voted 6-0 to approve the budget. Board member Lanora Nolan was absent.

Also on Monday, board members saw two proposals to redraw school board district lines and recommended one that would affect the fewest number of residents.

The plan would affect 11 precincts and about 15,800 residents. Affected areas include an area south of Kellogg between Woodlawn and Rock Road, including Clark Elementary School, which would switch from District 2 to District 3.

An area north of 37th Street North from Oliver to Woodlawn would switch from District 1 to District 6. An area between Douglas and Lincoln, just west of East High, would switch from District 1 to District 4.

For a closer look at the proposed district map and to offer feedback, visit boedistrict.usd259.org.

Board member Connie Dietz said earlier this month that she preferred each board district to include a high school. But Dietz and other board members quickly opted against that plan Monday when they saw it would shift 18 precincts and nearly 29,000 residents. That plan would have moved East High School from District 1 to District 2.

“District 2 will yield and once more go without a high school,” said Dietz, the District 2 representative. “That’s all right. We’ll just hang right in there.

“I think we need to move as few people as possible and make as few changes as possible, so I have no problem” with the alternate proposal, she said.

The board plans to review the map and hear feedback from the public at its Sept. 10 meeting before voting on the redistricting proposal later in September.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 and stobias@wichitaeagle.com.

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