How should the state of Kansas fill a seemingly endless budget deficit? If you are a state legislator then you may opt to take it out of the state pension fund. On Wednesday evening, USD 383 board members were briefed on current legislative matters. While the session may still be young, Lew Faust, Director of Business Services at Manhattan-Ogden USD 383, said the state has been hard at work finding ways to plug the $350 million gap for this fiscal year.

KPERS payments for the third fiscal quarter have been delayed. According to Faust, the payment will be made next week, with an amendment. Half of the payment will be disbursed for the third quarter with the other half coming later this spring in the fourth quarter. Faust indicated this same scenario unfolded last year. Additionally, the final block grant payment of the fiscal year has been delayed. Eric Reid, assistant superintendent of the district, noted this will cause financial strain later this spring.

The Kansas Supreme Court has not yet ruled on its equitable funding case, but Reid told board members he expects the block grant formula to stay in place for at least the next year. Things continue to look bleak for the state, as the sale of the Kansas Bioscience Authority did not generate the amount of revenue state officials initially planned. Payments for extraordinary needs to Manhattan-Ogden have also been docked for the rest of the year. Reid also said legislators may force districts into the same health insurance plan to save money and that it could take “freedom of choice” away from the district, which has chosen cheaper plans in order to put money elsewhere.

In other business, the district released a list of more than a dozen names of people who have been selected to serve on the MHS mascot committee. In addition to superintendent Marvin Wade and board president Marcia Rozell, board members Curt Herrman and Dave Colburn will sit on the committee. The committee was formed just six weeks ago in order to bridge the rift in the community after nearly a year of Indian mascot debate.

Board members also heard the annual report on career and technical education programs at Manhattan High School.

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Source: KMAN Local News