The Kansas City School Board is Closing Half of their District Schools
March 12, 2010
The Kansas City school board is closing half their district schools. The Kansas City school board voted on the closing Wednesday night, announcing that they will be shutting down 29 of the 61 schools they have in the district by the end of this school year. The nearly budget shortfall of nearly $50 million for the next school year. Seven hundred positions in the district will be eliminated, including 285 teachers that will be out of work by the end of this school year. It’s a very brash move by the school district and also a very troubling announcement from a school district that had been dealing with a number of financial issues.
The decision to close so many schools is not being welcomed by students or parents, but with enrollment down within the Kansas City School District, the board felt they had no other alternative but to cut back the number of staff they were paying to run the district. It’s really a debate about numbers, where the school district gets its money from the state based on how many students that they have enrolled. Less students means less money, and having less money on hand means that the students in these schools have their learning compromised. The district took the only step that they felt they could in this situation in order to cut enough costs to keep the rest of the district afloat.
One of the other problems that the Kansas City School District was facing was the loss of several schools that basically jumped-ship to a neighboring school district where they will receive more money and better support. It left the Kansas City School District clamoring to come up with an estimated loss of $23.5 million just from those schools switching districts, and when it comes to education, that is a lot of money to be short. This will definitely be a decision that is not accepted well at first, but that could really end up saving the entire school district because of the boldness of the closures. Hopefully no students fall through the cracks in what is sure to be a complicated method of shuffling the students remaining in the district between the remaining schools next year.