The Kansas House’s rejection Thursday morning of a bill increasing sales and cigarette taxes to erase a projected budget deficit, and to avert deep spending cuts, has some in Kansas now preparing for the worst. Salina USD 305 Schools are preparing for a potential $2.8 million budget cut. According to the district, a $2.8 million cut at USD 305 will result if six percent state budget cuts are triggered. This is a certainty if the legislature can’t agree on how to balance the state budget. In response to this threat, USD 305 has now frozen all hiring activities. The $2.8 million cut would be game-changing and result in additional, district-level cuts that will need to be made quickly and continuously. The district will continue its effort to spare student programs and staff, but if the $2.8 million cut occurs, USD 305 will immediately reexamine next year’s budget. The district concluded “like all other districts in Kansas, it is certain that effects of this cut will impact educational opportunities for students.” The Kansas Constitution prohibits the state from running a deficit. Brownback’s budget director warned lawmakers this week failing to pass a tax bill would lead to across-the-board spending cuts.
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