The Wichita Board of Education held a long, important meeting this week … unanimously approving a budget for the 2013-14 school year. It’s a $639 million spending plan … about $11 million more than last year. The district is looking for an increase of about 300 students and 136 full-time positions.
The property tax mill levy will actually drop slightly. This is the fifth straight year the district has not asked for a tax increase, and it’s the lowest property tax for schools in the area.
District officials say 72% of the budget goes for salaries and benefits … 88% directly focused on students and learning.
The board also approved a new contract with the teachers’ union. It includes a 2.4% increase in total value for teachers, with a one-time 1% salary increase overall. Health benefits remain the same. 88% of the district’s 4,000 teachers approved the deal.
Teaching more kids … a union contract agreement … and no tax increase. That was a pretty productive meeting.
Our thought for today is from H. G. Wells:
“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”