USD 383: No immediate effects felt from shutdown

By Bryan Richardson

USD 383 officials don’t have any immediate concerns related to the government shutdown.

Supt. Bob Shannon addressed the topic during the school board meeting Wednesday. He said there could be effects in the event the shutdown ends up lasting months.

Shannon said 12 to 15 percent of the district’s budget involves federal funds, which mostly flow through the state. Programs funded through federal dollars include special education, free and reduced lunch/breakfast program, military impact aid, Title I reading and professional development grants, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) grant, and 21st Community Learning Centers grant.

Also, 23 Head Start programs in 11 states ran out of federal money Sept. 30, but USD 383’s program isn’t one of them.

Andy Hutchinson, the district’s Head Start director, said the cycle for the grants that fund the district’s Head Start program started July 1, so funding isn’t an issue “until someone tells me otherwise.”

One thing that has been affected by federal actions is the district’s relationship with Kansas StarBase, a U.S. Department of Defense youth program promoting STEM that is no longer in existence. A StarBase academy, which wasn’t operated by the district, opened locally last year.

USD 383 used StarBase for a portion of the district’s STEM summer camp. The summer camp can still continue since it is operated by the district through a federal grant.

Carol Adams, USD 383 teaching and learning director, said StarBase’s shutdown is directly related to sequestration and the federal budget.

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