Wichita School Bond: Where Will the 25% Come From?

One of the things Wichita school bond supporters use to make their case for the passage of the bond issue is that Wichitans won’t have to pay for all of it.

Wichita school district bond educational materials say the State of Kansas will pay $92.5 million plus corresponding interest. That’s 25%, and district officials wear buttons with that on them. The district doesn’t mention what the cost with interest is, but back when the school bond was set to be $350 million, the Wichita Eagle reported that the state’s share, including interest, would be $147.65 million.

That’s a lot of money. It’s over $7 million per year for the next 20 years for the state of Kansas to pay.

I’ve spoken to a few legislators. The Kansas budget is in terrible shape. Cuts in spending are likely. The increase in spending for the Wichita school bond issue will further stress the Kansas budget.

District officials and school bond supports act like this is free money. Sarah Olson, a bond supporter, once said that this money is in Topeka just waiting for Wichita schools to claim it. That’s simply not true. To pay its share of the Wichita school bond, the state will either raise taxes or cut spending by $7 million per year. It’s that simple.

And, by the way, where does the state of Kansas get its money?

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