Hays USD 489 has a plan if the Kansas Legislature doesn’t comply with the Kansas Supreme Court ruling on funding inequities and schools are closed at the end of the month.
Administrators outlined the plan at the Board of Education meeting and work session Monday night.
“We do have a plan in place should the worst happen, but we hope it won’t happen,” said Tracy Kaiser, executive director of finance and support services.
“I hate to say it’s a wait-and-see game, but that’s exactly what it is,” Superintendent Dean Katt said.
The district has been somewhat proactive in starting credit retrieval summer school a little early, “so we don’t have to worry about not having access, or kids not having access to that,” he said.
Drivers-ed classes also will be finished by the end of the month.
There are other programs that will continue in July such as Munjor daycare and summer lunches that could be stopped, Katt said.
“We already called the (Hays) Rec, and said just as a heads-up, if they shut everything down, our facilities are off limits unless the Supreme Court says no, you can do those kinds of activities,” Katt said.
There have been a number of calls from staff asking about payroll, Kaiser said.
Teachers have the option of receiving their pay in nine months or 12 months. Those who chose the 12-month option will receive their “summer checks” in one lump sum.
“We are fine to go ahead and pay that all out in June,” Kaiser said.
Because of the unsettled finances, the board won’t consider the half-step payment to certified staff in June as agreed to under certain circumstances in negotiations.
The school district also pays health insurance premiums one month in advance, “so all of our staff working next year will have their insurance paid until July 31,” Kaiser said.
“The Supreme Court would have to tell us what they will allow. It’s really up to our legislators to get together,” Katt said.
When Board Vice President Josh Waddell asked if it was likely to be resolved by July 1, Katt said he hoped so but was skeptical since 10 days’ notice was required before a special session of the Legislature could be held.
“We get a payment on July 7, the last payment for this fiscal year,” Kaiser said. “If they would close us, we don’t get that payment on July 7, that would be about $730,000, (or) $750,000 check that’s not coming in. So we don’t know yet there won’t be cuts.”