May 20, 2024

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Next KSBRC workshops to focus on creating effective school budgets

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The next series of training sessions offered by the Kansas School Board Resource Center (KSBRC) will help school board members craft a school budget using the School Needs Assessment process.  Typically, school boards are asked to approve a spending plan prepared by staff, but history shows that that approach won’t improve student achievement.  Budgets should be built to achieve specific goals set by the school board.

A 20-year-old law, amended in 2022, requires school districts to annually conduct needs assessments in each school within the district. It reads:

“Each year the board of education of a school district shall conduct an assessment of the educational needs of each attendance center in the district. Such assessment shall be published on the school district’s website. Information obtained from such needs assessment shall be used by the board when approving the budget of the school district to ensure improvement in student academic performance.”

In addition, districts are to answer three questions required by the law:

  1. What are the barriers preventing students from being proficient in reading and math?
  2. What budgetary changes are needed to overcome the barriers?
  3. With changes implemented, how many years will it take for students to be proficient?

The workshops will also cover how to make effective use of carryover cash balances, allocate money to maximize student achievement and find operating efficiencies.

The workshops run from 9:00 a.m. to noon in three locations:

  • Tuesday, June 6 — Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center, 2041 N Bradley Fair Parkway in Wichita
  • Wednesday, June 7 — Holiday Inn and Express Conference Center, 4011 Parkview Drive, Pittsburg
  • Thursday, June 8 — Doubletree in Lawrence Conference Center, 200 McDonald Drive, Lawrence

Ward Cassidy, Executive Director of the KSBRC, previews the workshops:

“The upcoming workshops will be very beneficial to everyone that attends.  We will show how defining student academic performance, it directly ties into the budget process.  It is not only state law but makes much sense to spend school dollars where it is most needed.”

The sessions are free and open to the public in addition to school board members. You can register to attend at any location at [email protected].

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