Concordia USD 333 ending school year early because of education cuts

CONCORDIA (KSNT) — It’s what parents, teachers and school administrators feared. Governor Sam Brownback’s education cuts interfering with student’s education.

Two schools in northeast Kansas are forced to end their school year early due to lack of funding.

“A lot of our dollars have already been spent with only three to four months left in the fiscal year have already been spent and we have about 3 to 4 months left of the school year,” said Quentin Breese, the Assistant Superintended of Concordia USD 333.

Breese, and other school administrators are getting praise from students, but concerns from both parents and teacher over their plans to cut six days from the end of the school year.

“We are suffering about $199,000 change from what our audit is going to amount of what funding was at the beginning of the school year,” said Breese.

The district says it will save $30,000 by not paying for bus services, food, and certified staff positions for those six days. That staff ranges from the cafeteria lady to coaches.

“We jumped up and down and scream for joy,” said one student. “We were whooping and cheering.”

Students are looking at this early dismissal as a gift, but school officials say it was necessary due to the state’s education budget cuts. This may mean more fun in the sun for students, but teachers are saying this is a stressful situation.

The curriculum is getting tighter and teaching spots are dwindling down.

“My teaching position is going to change again next year. This will be the 13th year in a row that my teaching position has changed,” said Ashley Carlgren, teacher for USD 333.

The savings from ending school early this spring was only possible because the district had budgeted for six snow days it never had to use this past winter. They don’t know what they’ll do next year.

“We are trying to keep the cuts as far away from the kids as we can but, at some point it is probably going to hit home and start affecting programs like sports and everything included,” said Breese.

Meaning running track this year could be the final year for some students.

Twin valley is the other school district that announced today it will cut the school year short by using “snow days” to save money.

At his news conference today, Governor Brownback said the new block funding plan should give districts more flexibility on where they spend the money they get from the state.

He says they’ll have to decide between helping classrooms and teachers or building facilities.

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