District Staffing Decisions Reduce Teacher Pay by $13,700

Dave TrabertEducationLeave a Comment

School lobbyists routinely cite low teacher pay as rationale for more school funding but a new school staffing study shows how districts’ staffing decisions have diverted money from teacher salaries.  According to The Sentinel, a nationwide study by Dr. Ben Scafidi and published by EdChoice.org shows the average Kansas teacher could be paid $13,708 more per year if non-teaching personnel … Read More

Kansans Reject Supreme Court School Control

James FrankoEducationLeave a Comment

Legislators are facing a political dilemma when they return to Topeka in January.  They must either represent the will of the people who elected them or they must firmly reject Supreme Court school control. Supreme Court control of schools seen via a court demand of nearly $1 billion more in school funding. As we wrote recently, the court pretty clearly … Read More

Kansans Want Schools Held Accountable

Dave TrabertEducationLeave a Comment

Kansans are sending a strong message to legislators as they prepare for next year’s school funding debates – hold schools accountable.  A statewide public opinion survey conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of Kansas Policy Institute shows: 78 percent of registered voters say non-instruction services should be provided regionally, with the savings put into classrooms. 70 percent say the school funding … Read More

School Cash Reserves Nearly Triple State Budget Requirement

Dave TrabertEducationLeave a Comment

State legislators are legally required to keep cash reserves equal to 7.5 percent of General Fund spending but the average Kansas school district had nearly three times that level – 19.3 percent – in reserve at the beginning of the 2017 school year.   That disparity should prompt considerable discussion in the upcoming legislative session.  A state efficiency study recommended capping … Read More

Court’s Gannon Ruling Won’t Help Kids

Dave TrabertEducation

New data from the Kansas Department of Education provides more stark evidence showing the Kansas Supreme Court Gannon ruling to increase funding won’t help students.   Legislators could give more money to local school boards but they can’t make them spend it effectively or efficiently.  And that’s largely the reason that simply spending more money never has – and never will … Read More

Kansas School Spending Hits $13,647 Per Pupil For 2018

Dave TrabertEducation

The Department of Education estimates Kansas school spending will increase by $387.5 million this year and set a new per-pupil record of $13,647.  Total spending of $6.472 billion is also a new record.  The estimate was emailed to Kansas Policy Institute by KSDE Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis this morning. State aid will jump by $316 million this year; KSDE says … Read More

Kansas School Funding Set New Records in 2017

Dave TrabertEducation

Kansas school funding set more new records in the 2017 school year according to data released by the Kansas Department of Education.  Total aid to schools set a new record at $6.084 billion and total aid per-pupil set a record at $13,236.  State aid topped $4 billion for the first time, with per-pupil state aid at $8,714.  Funding also set … Read More

School Districts Plan Large Spending Increases

Dave TrabertEducation

A sampling of fifteen of the largest school districts in Kansas shows each district plans to spend more this year and most are budgeting fairly large spending increases – at the same time that the Kansas Supreme Court says schools are underfunded and school cash reserves set another record last year. The Department of Education hasn’t published statewide data yet … Read More

A Student-Focused Response to the Kansas Supreme Court

Dave TrabertEducation

There’s good basis for the growing sentiment to defy the recent Kansas Supreme Court opinion on school funding in Gannon, but that would only perpetuate the real education crisis – low achievement levels overall and horrendous achievement gaps for low income students. The time it would take to close achievement gaps for low income students in Kansas once was measured … Read More

School District Cash Reserves at Record Highs

Dave TrabertEducation

At the same time courts and taxpayer-funded school lawyers claim school districts to lack adequate funding, school district cash reserves set new records last year according to the Kansas Department of Education.  Total cash reserves set a new record at just over $2 billion and each major category also set new records.  Operating cash reserves increased by $17.4 million to … Read More