State budget cuts, whether war-related or not, were affecting students at the elementary and high school levels in Lawrence in 1917.
According to a Journal-World article from early September, the usual reserve in the Board of Education budget had been cut by two-thirds, while war conditions had doubled the price of school supplies, resulting in Lawrence schools having “been forced to go the limit in establishing such economy as is consistent with intelligent work.... The movement towards greater economy has been well started in the Lawrence schools before this year, the High School having already reached such a stage of economy that Principal Olney can think of no new measure that would not seriously injure the character of the work to be done. The High School pupils utilized all scrap paper last year and will do the same this year. Only the books and equipment that cannot be sacrificed are being bought or installed. In the grade schools the last measures in economy are being taken this year. In the way of saving paper a standard form of tablet has been adopted and both sides of the paper are being written on … Another place where the Board of Education practiced the most rigid economy was in the equipping [of] the intermediate school. Wherever possible members of the Board made personal investigations regarding prospective purchases and saved money by the purchase of some second hand equipment.”