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The Student Voice of Wichita Northwest High School

Northwest Explorer

The Student Voice of Wichita Northwest High School

Northwest Explorer

The Student Voice of Wichita Northwest High School

Northwest Explorer

Budget cuts approach Northwest High School

With a loss of Covid relief money, Wichita Public Schools will have to make cuts to make ends meet.
Kit O’Grady
Picture of a 5, 20, and 100-dollar bill on top of a sheet of lined notebook paper in a binder.

While Covid is not over, the relief funding to schools is. Northwest High School is one of the schools in the district that will be experiencing losses. The district is short $42 million in the upcoming year due to the loss of ESSER funding, the Covid relief fund from the federal government, and must make cuts to accommodate.

Northwest High School Principal Eric Hofer-Holdeman has assured that the district will keep cuts away from the students.

“As of now, what we are being told is they will try their best to keep the cuts away from what impacts students the most. So, they’re telling us at this point, that there will not cutbacks to things like activities, extracurriculars, and others.” he says.

However, one aspect of student life will be getting cut: the AVID program. It will be phased out over the course of the next 3 years. The incoming freshmen next year will not have AVID, but everyone who is already in AVID will graduate with the program. According to Hofer-Holdeman, only four schools in the district will be keeping the AVID program, and Northwest was not one of them.

The decision on what major cuts will be made begins on Monday, January 22nd, being voted on by the district’s Board of Education. Then, Kelly Bielefeld, the superintendent, will designate cuts for departments to make. A full decision will take longer, anywhere from 2 to 4 months, likely finishing in the beginning of May.

Hofer-Holdeman remains confident that students shouldn’t have to worry,

“I want to emphasize that for the past multiple months, they’ve been gathering feedback from a variety of stakeholders- so they are listening to those of us who are on the front lines.”

Students will not be seeing most of the cuts, Hofer-Holdeman assures. Small cuts have already been decided, and the principal’s message remains positive.

“I would emphasize to the students that the cutbacks will be as far away from the classroom as possible. School will likely not look different next year than it does this year, it will likely look very, very similar. So, it’s not a time to panic, we will continue to have excellent school here at Northwest High School, we will continue to have fantastic teachers, support personnel, and none of that is going to change for us,” Hofer-Holdeman said.

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