It’s all about the money

adminEducation

President Reagan famously joked that “the most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  To be sure, there are some very good people with honest intentions in government, including public education.  But too often, variations of ‘it’s all about the kids’ really means ‘it’s all about the money.’ The latest example … Read More

At Risk School Funding 101

adminEducation

Note: this is the first blog in a series on the issue of at risk funding and accompanies a comprehensive KPI at risk research project. Funding for public schools is a complicated proposition. There are many factors that go into determining just how much money school districts will receive and where it will come from every year from state and … Read More

School districts budget large spending increases this year

adminEducation

Our review of school districts’ budgets for the current school year revealed some very interesting information.  Seventy-seven districts are planning double-digit spending increases on Administration.  The unweighted average increase on Instruction is 10 percent.  We also found that 122 districts plan a larger increase on Administration spending than on Instruction. You can download an Excel file here listing total budgeted per-pupil spending by … Read More

Kansas school funding decision ignores facts in arriving at a political decision

Dave TrabertEducation

Today’s ruling on Gannon v. State of Kansas in which the Shawnee County District Court declared school funding to be unconstitutionally low ignores a long list of facts that disprove school districts’ contentions.  The three-judge panel may even have ignored the State Supreme Court’s order that adequacy is to be determined on whether outcomes – as defined by the Rose … Read More

Many school districts ignore state transparency law

Dave TrabertEducation

The Kansas Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Act – K.S.A. 72-8254 – passed in 2013 requires every school district to publish the budget summary for the current school year and actual expenditures for the immediately preceding two school years showing total dollars net of transfers and dollars per pupil.  The statue clearly says the report “shall be published with an … Read More

New Survey: Kansans Remain Misinformed Regarding K-12 Finance

adminEducation

New Survey: Kansans Remain Misinformed Regarding K-12 Finance Residents Also Weary of Tax Hikes, Service Cuts – Want  More Efficient Government November 13 – Wichita – While the election ads have stopped, Kansans remain deeply misinformed about the true state of the Kansas budget and K-12 finance. Kansas Policy Institute released a public opinion survey today from SurveyUSA that takes the pulse of … Read More

ACT Scores 2014 – it’s deja vu all over again

David DorseyEducation

Over the past few decades several movies have been produced in which the protagonist(s) has to relive a day over and over again until some unknown variable breaks the chain. The most famous is Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day (can it really be 20 years old?). Other movies that have followed suit include Source Code, The 12 Dates of Christmas, Repeaters … Read More

Common Core Standards – Sometimes even reformers get it wrong

David DorseyEducation

I don’t have idols. Years ago I learned idolizing can lead to great disappointment. The more you learn about people, the greater the chance that, as this guy would say in his unique style, “sthumpin’s a misth.” A case in point is Michelle Rhee. If I did have an idol in education reform, it would be her. She’s even married … Read More

A teacher’s perspective on Gannon

David DorseyEducation

Once again, the Kansas Supreme Court has made a ruling on public school financing. In the much anticipated Gannon case, last Friday the court ruled that certain aspects of public school funding in Kansas are unconstitutional. Many are asking a simple question in response to the decisions – Does this mean the legislature (through Kansas taxpayers) will be forced to … Read More