The Wichita school district has posted its proposed 2015-16 budget online in advance of a public hearing on the budget set for Monday.
The proposed $648 million budget – about $35 million less than last year’s budget and $4 million less than last year’s expenditures – cuts some programs and expenses, raises property taxes and freezes teacher pay.
To see the budget, go to finance.usd259.org and click the “Budget Forms and Documents” button. The 143-page budget document, which details proposed expenditures in various categories, is posted along with a 13-page “Budget at a Glance.”
Complete copies of the budget also are available for free at the district finance office in the Alvin E. Morris Administrative Center, 201 N. Water.
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The Wichita school board will hold the public hearing during its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the North High lecture hall, 1437 Rochester.
The board is expected to approve the budget that evening. If it does, the district’s mill levy would increase by 2.86 mills, about $33 a year on a house that is valued at $100,000. The proposed increase includes a one-year, 0.42-mill special assessment tax to finance about $1 million worth of infrastructure around the new Southeast High School.
The budget presumes another enrollment increase for Wichita, though it won’t translate to additional state funding. It also presumes increased costs for transportation, utilities, special education, food service and other categories.
Also on Monday, the school board is expected to approve a new teacher contract, which teachers voted to approve last week. The contract includes a one-year salary freeze, raises health premiums for some employees or spouses, and cuts the school year from 190 to 188 days.
The board also will consider a proposal to extend Superintendent John Allison’s contract through June 2018. His base salary of $229,408 would remain the same.
Allison became superintendent of Wichita schools, the state’s largest district, in 2009. In addition to his base salary, he receives a $750-a-month car and mileage allowance and $500 a month for “professional, civic and incidental expenses.”
Under an increase to Allison’s financial package approved by the board in 2013, the district contributes an additional 6.9 percent of Allison’s salary – about $16,000 a year – into the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System on his behalf. By remaining superintendent through June 2014, he also received a $100,000 contribution to a tax-sheltered retirement account.