Kansas Schools Keeping Eye on State Budget Talks

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Area school districts are keeping a close eye on the budget talks.

Topeka's USD 501 superintendent Dr. Kevin Singer updated school board members on the state legislature's discussions at the board meeting Thursday night.

Lawmakers are trying to make up for a deficit in the current year's budget. A House bill that passed Thursday cuts more than $30 million from schools. A Senate version approved earlier cuts more than $40 million. Negotiators were to begin work on a compromise this week.

If cuts are made in the current budget year, districts would have to be ready to react quickly.

USD 501 spokesperson Ron Harbaugh says the district is making plans. He says a stakeholders task force developed a list of priorities, so the district will have direction and guidance should it have to make cuts.

Board members also discussed the district's long-range plan. People are invited to public meetings next week to give their input. They're scheduled for Monday at Topeka High, Tuesday at Topeka West and Wednesday at Highland Park. All meetings begin at 7 pm.