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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

WPS Budget Cuts Update

Kit O’Grady
Payne Elementary School is one of the schools set to be decommissioned.

With the district making progress in budgeting for the next school year, the Board of Education has made public what steps they are going to take. The district must find $42 million to make up for lost Covid ESSER funding from the government.

The biggest cut the district will make is in closing schools. The Board of Education will approve or deny the decision on which schools to close on March 4th, 2024. The six schools chosen to be closed are Clark Elementary, Cleaveland Elementary, Park Elementary, Payne Elementary, Hadley Middle School, and Jardine Middle School. These were chosen due to their high maintenance costs and low utilization. Jobs and students will be transferred to nearby schools, and magnet students may be given lottery preference to other magnet schools.

Northwest specifically will be losing the AVID program, being phased out over the course of the next 3 years. Every student in AVID as of the 2023-24 school year will keep the program until graduation, while incoming 24-25 school year freshmen will not have AVID as an option. Only four high schools in the district will be keeping AVID; those schools are North High School, East High School, West High School, and Height High School.

For the most part, besides AVID, cuts have been minimal towards student life here at Northwest. Activities and electives are remaining the same, as Principal Hofer-Holdeman assures. Most of the effects will be seen in the coming school years as more students will be coming to Northwest from schools that had received students from the closed schools. Effects from the loss of AVID will be seen in the future as well.

The district is not choosing to cut programs and schools without touching administration, either. Administrative positions in student-less buildings have seen minor cuts to their paycheck to work towards meeting the lofty amount of missing funding.

More information about the district’s budget cuts can be found on the district website: Finance / 2024-25 Budget Development (usd259.org).

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