Common Core and charter schools (with a nod to the national pastime)

David DorseyEducation

Now that March Madness is behind us, both in basketball and legislative terms, a look back reveals two of the most important school issues were as conspicuously untouched as a Greg Holland fastball. I am speaking, of course, about the elimination of Common Core State Standards and creating a viable public charter school system.  So much attention and effort went into … Read More

State aid to Johnson and Wyandotte County schools increases under block grants

Dave TrabertEducation

Contrary to media reports and claims by many local education officials, data provided by the Kansas Department of Education shows that state aid to Kansas school districts will increase this year with the new block grants.  How can that be?  Well, when government talks about a ‘budget cut,’ that most often means that the rate of increased spending is less than it … Read More

KCEG won’t document their false claims on education funding – again.

David DorseyEducation

The Kansas Center for Economic Growth’s latest scare tactic on education funding is filled with demonstrably inaccurate data which they use to make false claims about tax reform and the efficacy of education spending.  KCEG has a long history of making inaccurate claims and declining requests for documentation (here, here, and here for example) and this time is no different. In Kansas Prioritizes Tax Cuts … Read More

School employment data shows gaps in reporting and wide variations among districts

David DorseyEducation

KPI has created a state public education employment metrics report for FY 2014 and the file can be accessed here. The file contains employment totals and also five categories of pupil-per-employee ratios. Here are some highlights and analysis. Pupils per classroom teacher The employment metrics file shows considerable variation among the districts when it comes to the number of pupils … Read More

The legislature and collective bargaining bills – much ado about the unnecessary

David DorseyEducation

This legislative session saw five bills float around under the newly refinished capitol dome that deal with collective bargaining between teachers and school boards. Here is a brief summary of what they would do. SB 136/HB 2257, drafted and supported by the education establishment, it would, among other things, allow each side to choose up to five items for negotiation. HB … Read More

Only in government – a 14% increase is denounced as a ‘cut’

Dave TrabertEducation

Media reports on the just-passed legislation that will fund schools on block grants for the current year are loaded with school administrator claims that school funding is being cut this year, and  legislators continue to be bombarded with phone calls and emails making the same claim. But it’s not true.  As we explained on a recent blog post, school funding will … Read More

Legislature Considers Changes to School Funding Formula

Dave TrabertEducation

Dave Trabert, president of Kansas Policy Institute, talks about the state’s K-12 school funding formula. The Kansas Legislature is considering block-grant funding schools for the next two years while they take a deliberative look at rewriting the formula.

School funding still sets new record with block grant proposal

Dave TrabertEducation

You wouldn’t know it from media reports or school district newsletters, but school funding will still set another new record this year. Superintendents say they are dealing with budget cuts but that is largely government-speak for not getting as much of an increase as they would like – and media laps it up without asking how this year’s funding compares … Read More

Kansas K-12 Carryover Reserves

Dave TrabertEducation

Kansas school districts have been accumulating unspent taxpayer funds even as they call for increased funding. Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert talks with podcast host Paul Soutar about these funds, how they got there, what they mean to the debate over the school funding formula and what the Legislature can do about it.

At least $300 million in K-12 cash reserves potentially available


School districts may say they need their cash reserves to operate but if they each had maintained the same percentage of operating expense held in 2006, cash reserves would have been $320 million lower at the beginning of the 2014 school year. Most school districts claiming to have small cash reserves are only talking about their Contingency Fund, which is … Read More