Parents meet with school district in Tonganoxie to discuss budget shortfall solutions

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TONGANOXIE, Kan. -- Some parents in Tonganoxie are offering their own solution to school district budget cuts announced last Monday. No freshman sports, one less middle school music teacher, and fewer paraprofessionals, or teachers’ aides. That’s what parents are meeting Thursday to talk about, and offering to pay to save.

The district announced those cuts amid a $212,000 budget shortfall. Superintendent Dr. Lyn Rantz declined an on-camera interview but said in a previous statement: “Many of our wonderful programs or services are at-risk.”

She posted that letter in February following Governor Sam Brownback’s budget announcement. The education cuts are affecting districts across Kansas. Several parents are proposing a local budget option that would involve raising taxes to fund the things that have been cut.

Parent Francie Campbell said she doesn’t blame the district or the school board.

“I just think they have really hard decisions and until you walk a mile in somebody’s shoes, you don’t know. The bottom line is we need to be writing Brownback. We need to be calling him and saying, ‘Hey, do you understand what you’re doing to our community?’” Campbell said.

The district’s last day of school is Friday, two days earlier than planned, in an effort to save money. Stay with FOX 4 for more on the outcome of Thursday’s special board meeting.

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