Shawnee Mission district issues statement on Brownback’s order to cut $44 million from public education

Shawnee Mission Superintendent Jim Hinson called the ordered cuts "unfortunate" and challenging.
Shawnee Mission Superintendent Jim Hinson called the ordered cuts “unfortunate” and challenging.

The Shawnee Mission School District Thursday evening released a statement responding to the executive order that came from Gov. Sam Brownback’s office requiring $44.5 million of funding be taken from K-12 education and public schools starting in early March.

The district estimates that the cuts will reduce state aid to Shawnee Mission schools by $1.4 million:

Today’s announcement by Governor Brownback calls for a 1.5 percent reduction in the state’s allotment for general state aid.

Based on initial estimates from the Kansas State Department of Education, this budget action will reduce base state aid per pupil from the current $3,852 to $3,810.50. The impact on the Shawnee Mission School District is estimated to be a reduction of $1.4 million in general state aid.

“Reductions in funding to the current budget offer challenges due to contractual and purchasing commitments that are already in place,” said Dr. Jim Hinson, The district will address the reductions in state aid through reserve funding.

“Our focus remains on providing outstanding educational services for our students to prepare them for the future and meet the expectations of our community,” said Hinson, “Today’s announcement is unfortunate but will not deter our mission.”

The district will continue to follow the legislative session to monitor additional bills that could impact current or future year’s funding.