Opinion Columns & Blogs

State shortfall counts as ‘extraordinary need’?

The Wichita Eagle

It was fair to wonder in November whether school districts might ever see the $2.9 million remaining of the total $12.3 million in the “extraordinary needs fund,” which the Legislature created (at districts’ expense) to provide additional aid to those experiencing unforeseen hardships from the transition to block grants. Wichita’s USD 259, for example, was charged $1.1 million, requested $980,000 back to help handle its refugee influx and was awarded just $366,000 from the fund. Many other districts’ requests were shorted or denied. But the governor’s latest budget proposal calls the $2.9 million “savings” that won’t be distributed. As Hutchinson schools superintendent Shelly Kiblinger told the Hutchinson News, the new budget proposal “does mean that they have used education money to essentially help fund the budget shortfall.” – Rhonda Holman