Whatever the outcome of the Kansas Supreme Court’s next ruling on school funding, Great Bend USD 428 doesn’t anticipate a total shutdown, Superintendent Brad Reed said.
On Tuesday, justices heard arguments from attorneys on a school finance law enacted by the Legislature earlier this year. The law revised parts of the school funding formula but resulted in no change in total funds for most of the state’s 286 school districts, according to the Associated Press. The court in February ordered lawmakers to improve aid to poor districts and gave them until June 30 or face having schools shut down.
The next fiscal year starts July 1.
Reed commented on the subject Monday during his Superintendent’s Report to the school board.
“As you know, the State Legislature did not to their job very well this spring,” Reed said. “My guess is the Supreme Court will say the Legislature is playing games and didn’t address what the court asked them to address.”
Reed said he would be “shocked” if the court approves what the Legislature did. However, he added, “I hope there’s not going to be a shutdown. I hope common sense will prevail.”
Great Bend’s summer school won’t be affected, since it will run from May 31 to July 1.
“Here in our district, a shutdown will look a little different,” Reed said. “As we get closer to it, we will let you know our plan. ... The faculty and district and the people will be taken care of – you have my assurance.”
The court is expected to rule quickly.
In an unrelated decision Tuesday, the school board approved a summer schedule that has the District Education Center close at noon on Fridays from May 27 through July 29. Employees may work longer hours on other days so they can work their number of contracted hours.
The board also scheduled a brief special meeting for 7:30 a.m. on June 30 to close out the fiscal year. At that time, the administration will propose expenditures, transfers and closing balanced.