Archive for Thursday, January 16, 2003

School district dodges bullet; city gets no reprieve

January 16, 2003


Lawrence school Supt. Randy Weseman said he was relieved by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' decision not to recommend another cut in base state aid to public school districts.

Sebelius proposed base aid remain at $3,863 per student in the 2003-2004 school year. That would leave in place a $27 per-pupil reduction ordered last year by then-Gov. Bill Graves.

"I'd say we're not out of the woods, but you can start to see the path," Weseman said.

He said the Lawrence district would still need to cut spending in 2003-2004, if Sebelius' budget was adopted by the Legislature.

Rising health insurance, utility, computer service and salary costs will force the district's hand, Weseman said.

Sebelius' recommended budget does not restore "demand transfer" payments to cities and counties that were cut last year by Graves. Lawrence officials have estimated the cut would cost $1.38 million in 2003; county officials have put their losses at $1.8 million.

"We didn't expect those (to be restored) anyway," City Manager Mike Wildgen said. "We knew those were gone."

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