WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As the Wichita Falls School Board looks toward next year’s budget, members are dealing with some lasting effects from the pandemic.
Enrollment is still the same as last year but the district is down about 500 students from two years ago. And absences, which they attribute to COVID-19, have the WFISD daily average attendance dropping from where it used to sit at around 96% to 98%, to 91%. That means less funding to the district.
“We’re really hoping that absences are legit absences and that it really is, ‘my child is sick and needs to stay home.’ We just don’t want parents keeping their children home for really no reason. We need them in school as much as possible,” WFISD Superintendent Mike Kuhrt said.
Kuhrt emphasizes not only the need for those students in class but also they have a great need for substitute teachers, adding if the district sees just 10% of its staff out that’s 120 vacancies to fill.