LAWRENCE, Kan. — Tuesday night, the Lawrence school board received an outline on how it can make budget cuts to save money.
The Futures Planning Committee, along with a hired consultant, spent six months doing the research.
“When the cost of things you need in your home continue to rise and you don’t have enough money for these things, you have to cut back in some areas to be able to afford the things that are your priorities,” Julie Boyle, Lawrence Public Schools executive director of communications.
The district has three priorities moving forward: achieving a competitive pay for teachers, lay out money for expected rising costs, and balance the bottom line.
The biggest goal for the district is how it can afford competitive pay for teachers.
“We know the number one thing to successfully educating kids is to have high quality teachers in the classroom,” Boyle said.
The committee found Lawrence Public Schools could cut back on several things.
They’re considering closing two elementary schools they have not named, repurposing a middle school, plus shifting to a 4-day week for students.
During its research, the committee learned the district’s enrollment is declining, and there’s no expectation for immediate growth.
“They determined in their predictions for the next 5 years, Lawrence Public Schools will see a decrease of about 300 students,” Boyle said. “Well, state funding in Kansas is largely based on your student enrollment.”
But people in Lawrence against school closures and budget cuts are already circulating a petition.