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Proposed budget cuts would eliminate driver's ed at all Wichita high schools

WICHITA — The latest round of proposed budget cuts at Wichita schools include 117 job positions and the elimination of driver's education at all high schools, saving about $7.5 million.

"This is one of those conversations as a superintendent or CEO you hope to never have to have," Superintendent John Allison said at a news conference today.

"These (cuts) mark another significant reduction to our budget.... They impact many people's lives, and their families' lives."

The proposed cuts include eliminating all elementary job-share positions and 44 positions in the district's learning services department, which includes curriculum specialists and learning coaches.

The plan also calls for increasing student fees by 5 percent and reducing temporary/relief custodial support by 55 percent.

District leaders already have proposed $7.7 million in cuts, including closing Metro-Midtown Alternative High School, changing bell times at eight schools to consolidate bus routes and postponing the purchase of new textbooks and technology.

The cuts announced today brings the district's total savings to about $14.3 million, slightly more than half of the estimated $25 million budget shortfall.

"We've reached the point that there is no way we are not impacting the classroom, both directly and indirectly," Allison said.

"We're going to continue to move forward, because we've got another $10 million to go."

For more on this story, read Friday's Eagle and return to Kansas.com.

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