District looking at how state accounting will affect schools
If a plan proposed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius goes through the Kansas Legislature, schools including USD 491 may have to hold off writing checks for several weeks this summer or face having them bounce. The plan, Superintendent Marty Kobza said at the Board's meeting this month, would mean the district wouldn't receive its June payment from the state until July. No carryover funds, he said, meant no checks.
Sebelius' proposal would have the state closing the fiscal year on a balanced budget without raising taxes by issuing $155 million in bonds this year and paying them off with tobacco settlements. Next year, the second half of Kansans' property taxes would be paid on a monthly basis.
What that meant for education, Kobza said, was that school funding wouldn't get cut but schools wouldn't see an increase, either. Cuts to special education reimbursements for districts would remain in place, he said.
Republican leaders have brought their own proposal, which Kobza said was basically the same except that it held education "harmless." He said it allowed an increase in base aid -- $20 per pupil in 2005.
The price of school lunches will increase in the district next year. Elementary and secondary school breakfasts will cost $1. Elementary lunches will be $1.70, and secondary lunches will be $1.85.
District food services director Cindy Johnson said several factors contributed to the need for price increases, including wage increases, the rising cost of supplies, and costly but required employee training.