Are mandatory post-secondary individual plans the answer?

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Now that the Rose standards have been identified as what determines adequacy of education funding in Kansas, much attention is now focused on how the education community will address them. Recently, incoming Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson and outgoing Interim Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander provided an update on Rose standards to the House Education Committee. Included in their presentation was … Read More

Better outcomes at a better price in Johnson County: USD 232 De Soto and USD 231 Gardner-Edgerton

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The most recent performance and spending records of Johnson County school districts serves as a good reminder that there is no relationship between high spending and high achievement. In fact, the two districts that spend the least happen to have the best outcomes on state assessments. Students who read grade-appropriate material with full comprehension and usually perform accurately on all … Read More

School Choice in Kansas

James FrankoEducation

Pastor Wade Moore and James Franko discuss the need for and benefits of school choice and what’s happening with school choice in Kansas. Moore, pastor at the Christian Faith Center, opened the Urban Prepratory Academy, a private school, in Wichita last year, to offer an alternative learning experience. Moore talks about his desire to start a public charter school and … Read More

School districts overstate the impact of SB 71

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Senate Ways & Means held a hearing this week on SB 71, which, as explained in a previous blog post, would correct some inequities in the distribution of Supplemental General State Aid (SGSA) / equalization funding and reduce the amount to be provided this year so that it approximates the amount promised by the Legislature last May. The reduction is … Read More

School funding controversy is about entitlement, not need

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When every Johnson County school district qualifies as a property-poor district, you know you have a broken school funding formula…and a controversial claim based on entitlement. The Kansas Legislature authorized $134 million in school funding this year in a good-faith effort to resolve the Supreme Court equity finding in Gannon v. State of Kansas. Most of the increase, $109 million … Read More

Kansas Court Rulings on K-12 Education

James FrankoEducation

Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert talks about recent rulings by Kansas courts on K-12 education funding. A district court ruling in December may have ignored a State Supreme Court ruling in March.

The philosophy and research supporting at-risk funding – second in a series

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As I discussed in the first blog in this series, the state of Kansas provides almost $400 million additionally each year for at-risk funding to K-12 education. But what is the philosophy behind spending more taxpayer dollars to educate economically disadvantaged students? What does the research say? And how have states responded in their particular “at-risk” funding formulas? In this blog I … Read More

Judicial panel used cherry-picked data in Gannon decision

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(w)e conclude that the Kansas K-12 school finance formula still stands as constitutionally inadequate by its failure to assure and implement adequate funding to meet and sustain a constitutionally adequate education as a matter of sound expert opinion from those with relevant and reliable expertise and experience with the Kansas K-12 school system.(emphasis added) Thus is the opinion, filed December 30, 2014, from … Read More

Common Core influence swings testing pendulum

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There’s an old saying in education that when changes happen it’s like a pendulum swinging; things go from one extreme to the other. How much testing given to students is a current prime example of the back and forth. Testing, especially at the elementary level, was scarce prior to No Child Left Behind (NCLB). But in the last decade the … Read More