May 22, 2023
Greetings USD 388 Staff and Families:
Thank you for your continued support of our students, staff, and school community. We wanted to share an update with you regarding school finance decisions that have recently developed out of Topeka and the legislative process. You may have heard or read that Governor Laura Kelly signed the Education Budget Bill on Thursday, May 18, but she vetoed a provision in the bill that would have negatively impacted school districts with declining enrollment, like ours.
This is great news for our schools and our community because we are a district that is experiencing declining enrollment, and this veto helps to protect us from more significant budget cuts. For many districts like us, this veto will reduce the size of our financial losses. For example, we are estimating that our reductions will now total $160,000 with the veto whereas reductions would have exceeded $200,000 without it. Additionally, the veto will provide us with another year to prepare for any larger reductions that may come as a result of future legislative action.
Other benefits to Kansas students and schools within the signed Education Budget Bill include:
- $7.5 million increase in funding for special education
- $5 million for school safety grants
- $9.4 million for the Kansas Parents as Teachers (KPAT) program
- $1.8 million to support teacher professional development
- $1.3 million for a program that provides teachers with mentors early in their careers
- $1.5 million to transport students to career and technical education (CTE) opportunities
- $1 million to ensure more students learn computer science
- $23.7 million from the Children’s Initiative Fund for the Early Childhood Block grant
- $4.2 million for a Pre-K Pilot Program
- $1.5 million to expand the Dolly Parton Imagination Library
As more details regarding the impact and benefits of this Education Budget Bill become more specific and clear for our students, staff, and community, we will keep everyone updated.
Thank you for your time in reviewing this update.
Ellis USD 388, Superintendent