School district "not panicked yet" about closing possibility - KOAM TV 7

School district "not panicked yet" about closing possibility


If Kansas lawmakers do not take action, schools in the state will be unable to open their doors after June 30, in preparation for the 2017 fiscal year.

"Well we really don't know what it looks like because we have no directives at this point in time. I do believe the supreme court will give us some guidelines, but right now we have nothing so it's hard to really make a plan," Galena USD 499 superintendent Brian Smith said.

Smith said he is doing his best to keep teachers and staff informed and that no one is panicking just yet.

"My greatest concern is what's best for the children because we have children that go to school year-round with summer school and our learning zone program and we feed breakfast and lunch to children year-round. There would be some children in a bad situation if we had to close school," Smith said.

Local lawmaker and Galena High School alum Senator Jake LaTurner voted against legislative adjournment on Wednesday.

"I think we need to stay and do our jobs, we need to exhaust every single option to make sure schools don't close July 1st. So my hope is that the governor calls a special session and we go back up there and get to work," LaTurner said.

Smith thinks the best plan for his district atleast is an equitable finance plan.

"Every school in southeast Kansas would benefit from an equitable plan. The children would benefit and the taxpayers would really see benefits. That's what this case is really about is inequities between taxpayers in wealthy districts and taxpayers in low wealth districts like Galena," Smith said.

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