Board of Education Discusses Budget at Special Meeting

June 9, 2017 ~ Planning for the future was the focus of a special Olathe Board of Education meeting on Thursday, June 8. Members of the board gathered with Interim Superintendent Pat All and incoming Superintendent John Allison, as well as district staff to study the budget, discuss recent legislative action and to plan for the future of the Olathe Public Schools.

The board studied and discussed SB19, the Legislature's school funding formula bill that has passed through the House and Senate and awaits Governor Brownback's signature. If the governor signs the bill, it is subject to review by the State Supreme Court. Chief Financial and Operations Officer John Hutchison discussed preliminary assumptions and considerations for the 2017-18 budget. The board is working to understand the components of the new formula and understand the options as board members and district staff work on the budget over the next 60 days. The 2017-18 budget must be approved by the board and on file with Johnson County by Aug. 25.

Hutchison mentioned the need to weigh district priorities for 2017-18, including the opening of Olathe West, the district's fifth high school. Opening a new school adds additional cost to the district's operating expenses. He mentioned health insurance costs, staff compensation, maintaining district programs and service, the potential restoration of reduced positions, among other items for the board to consider.

Executive Director of General Administration / Elementary Programs Brent Yeager and Executive Director of Elementary Personnel Cathy Donovan presented to the board about full-day kindergarten. SB19 provides funding for voluntary, full-day kindergarten, making it free for parents across the state of Kansas. They shared that pending the governor signing the bill, the plan in Olathe is to offer free, voluntary full-day kindergarten to all students in the district beginning in the 2017-18 school year. Parents still will have the option to send their children half-day in the morning as part of a full-day section.

The board held an executive session to discuss personnel matters, and matters relating to employer-employee negotiations.

The Board of Education held a special meeting The Board of Education held a special meeting regarding budget forecast and recent Legislative analysis.
Incoming Superintendent John Allison and Interim Superintendent Pat All

Incoming Superintendent John Allison receives information related to the approaching school year.

John Hutchison addresses the board  Chief Financial and Operations Officer John Hutchison fielded questions about upcoming fiscal years.