Even though the statewide sales-tax increase enabled the Legislature to hold school funding flat, school districts are still finding it necessary to cut spending because of rising costs. The Wichita school district’s proposed budget includes $14 million in cuts, including such regrettable moves as eliminating driver’s education and cutting 43 teacher and 74 administrative positions. Medicaid also will no longer cover the salaries of paraprofessionals who provide attendant care to students with disabilities, which cost about $200,000 a year in USD 259. But school districts did receive some good news this week. The Kansas Health Policy Authority reached an agreement with Medicaid to be reimburse districts for the actual cost of providing health care services to students with disabilities. Authority officials expect this increase in reimbursement should more than offset the loss of attendant care funding.
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