KCKPS administrators confront possibility that school could start after Labor Day in fall

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- It's a scary possibility for educators in Wyandotte County. Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools' administrators tell FOX 4 news the chance of starting fall classes after Labor Day could happen this year.

The district's leader told FOX 4's Sean McDowell that KCK schools could start fall classes as late as Labor Day this year, this comes along with news of the district's scaling back of summer programs from six weeks to only four.

District superintendent Cynthia Lane says that the trouble is based on a budget shortfall. She explained that KCKPS will need to eliminate some programs, such as summer classes and meal programs, due to an outdated budget. Lane blames the state tax plan for being unable to fund some services -- and public education falls under that umbrella.

She says this school district was in a similar predicament last summer when Kansas education leaders needed to make up a budget shortfall of $35 million.
This time around she says the budgetary mountain is much steeper.

"Families rely on schools to be dependable and and open on time. They plan their lives that way. We aren't sure when we're going to open. We know we will open at some point. If a closure extends beyond a few days, we're likely looking at delaying the school year," Lane said.

Lane says as of now that the state provides the district with about $3,800 per student each year -- but cost studies show this district needs closer to $6,000 per student. Lane added that the state's education budget is outdated by 17 years, and she's also concerned about the chance of staff furloughs and layoffs too.