Shawnee Mission School District Superintendent Gene Johnson at Monday’s Board of Education meeting presented the results of the district’s survey on how to make ends meet amid huge financial strains.
The district has already had to cut $20 million from its budget the past two years. Johnson said Monday the district expects to have to cut at least $10 million more this year.
To help inform their decisions as they face the need to cut costs, the district earlier this month put out a survey for students, staff, parents and patrons. Nearly 8,600 people responded to the survey, which included 20 proposed measures.
Five of the proposed cost cutting or revenue generating ideas garnered broad support from the respondents, with more than two-thirds agreeing or strongly agreeing.
Those items were: reducing the number of district administrators for a savings of $276,000 (65.5 percent); reducing the number of administrative staff for a savings of $457,000 (68.9 percent); increasing facility rental fees to raise $165,000 (88.2 percent); increasing print shop fees to raise $160,000 (76.9 percent); increasing fees for parent-pay bus services to raise $133,000 (69.8 percent); and increasing fees for all-day kindergarten to raise $370,000 (68.9 percent).
Only one proposal received more than 50 percent disapproval: 60.2 percent of respondents said they didn’t want to see the elementary band and strings program eliminated to save $707,000.
Johnson said the district will be using the results of the survey as it puts together its formal budget proposal for next year. That proposal will be presented at the April 11 Board of Education meeting.
Download the full report and results here (look in the right column).