Archive for Thursday, March 3, 2011

Shawnee Mission school district discusses “bleak” budget outlook

March 3, 2011

Shawnee Mission school district officials outlined a “bleak” outlook for financial support during its second legislative information session.

Tim Rooney, the district’s budget manager, said base state aid per pupil is on a free fall to levels of nearly 20 years ago. That number was $3,937 in 2010-11 and will fall to $3,780 in 2011-12 and $3,650 in 2012-13. The 2010-11 level is down from $4,012 in 2009-10 and $4,400 in 2008-09.

The district’s lobbyist, Stuart Little, spent nearly a half hour updating an audience at Shawnee Mission South on the current legislative session.

While budget cuts continue to be proposed, many of the bills that affect the district have failed to make it out of committee. Little called the lack of agreement a bad precedent for future discussions on the state's overall budget.

Legislature’s last day of committee meetings will be March 21 and the current session will end April 1. A veto session will begin April 27.

Superintendent Gene Johnson announced that a public survey would be unveiled Friday at 4:30 p.m. on the district’s website. The survey will poll the community on issues related to budget reductions. The survey will be open until noon March 25. Johnson said the issue would be reviewed by the district’s school board but added that the results may not necessarily be directly acted upon.

The district's first legislative information session was in January. Johnson said a third session will be held in April before Legislature's veto session.

For more on what was discussed Thursday and a copy of the district’s presentation, visit ShawneeDispatch.com Friday and look for the story in the March 9 issue.

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