Budget Cuts Continue to Affect Classes and School Programs

Vin Parazin and Reese Pope

After the Olathe School District announced sweeping budget cuts last April, staff have experienced numerous changes in their profession. 

The budget cuts reduced funding for numerous activities and have cut staff positions, causing additional strain for staff this year.

Numerous teacher positions were cut following the 2021-2022 school year, which reduced the number of available classes for students to take. Tammie Milke, who is the lead counselor at Olathe North, says that the budget cuts put a hamper on creating this year’s master schedule.  

“We shut down classes and moved classes to make things fit into the schedule,” Milke said. 

Teachers Careth Palmer, who is the English Department Chair, explains that while these budget cuts are nothing new, they haven’t been as significant in the past. 

“We’ve had budget cuts to our department for the past four years. We no longer buy Kleenex as a department and instead give it as extra credit,” Palmer said. 

Teacher Erica Gilliland also states that the department chair funds decreased. 

“This year was the first year we were like ok we’re just gonna do away with anything non-essential,” Gilliland said. “We’re not going to have a department shirt.”

Palmer also states that many teachers, like her, have had to be more aware of making paper copies of materials and has generally reduced the amount of papers that have been handed out in her class. This is partially due to the fact that the copy room attendant, a position formerly held by Ms. Stutesman was removed this year. 

“I don’t want to have to worry about sending things to the district in X amount of time and be three months planned out, [so] to combat this issue, I’ve turned pretty much everything online,” Palmer said. 

Teachers that are involved in 21st Century Programs may have also seen budget cuts. According to the Olathe District Website, all 21st Century Programs have experienced a 50% decrease in funding. 

Palmer adds that these budget cuts, especially for 21st Century Programs, were less specific than what she would like. “I think that looking at more than just the numbers would need to be where we start,” Palmer said. “We need to look at more than just the cold bottom line.”