Chameleon court decides it really is all about the Benjamins (for now)

David DorseyEducation

The latest (and surely not final) Supreme Court ruling in Gannon v. State, known as Gannon V, is yet another pivot from their previous position outlined in this Chameleon Court’s first Gannon decision. In Gannon I in 2014, the Court posited that money was not the determining factor in determining whether the “suitable provision” clause of Article 6 of the … Read More

School Lawsuits: Over $7 Million Diverted from Classrooms to Lawyers

Dave TrabertEducation

The Gannon and Montoy school lawsuits have resulted in school districts diverting $7.3 million that could have been spent on Instruction to their lawyers suing between the 2005 and 2017 school years.  The data is provided by one of the districts’ law firms – Somers, Robb and Robb.  The downloadable listing below indicates over $300,000 more is already committed for … Read More

New education funding targeted toward teacher compensation, not student outcomes

David DorseyEducation

There was much spirited and often heated discussion regarding the crafting of the new education finance law among the various legislative committee hearings during the 2017 session. Legislators debated a variety of approaches that addressed the amount of additional money that would go to schools, with a keen eye toward what they felt would satisfy the Supreme Court pursuant to … Read More

Blue Valley School District Distorts Spending Facts

Dave TrabertEducation

A KSBH-TV story about the Blue Valley school district spending $130,000 in legal fees to avoid paying $23,000 for a blind student’s braille books says “Blue Valley School District’s total operating budget for the current school year is about $200 million.”  The reporter, Jessica McMaster, linked to her source on the Blue Valley web site and understandably relied on the … Read More

Disdain for Freedom Shown As Media Attacks Think Tank

James FrankoEducation

On a variety of fronts it seems like American society is showing some significant foundational cracks, if not actively crumbling around us. Sadly, this is not a unique lament. One such event was a recent Washington Post piece lashing out at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. This piece demonstrated a remarkable disdain for freedom and the rights of those with views … Read More

Kansas composite and college ready ACT scores drop in 2017

David DorseyEducation

The ACT scores for the graduating class of 2017 have just been released and results for Kansas graduates is not encouraging. The overall composite of 21.7 is lower than the 21.9 achieved in 2016. A look inside the composite provides a portrait of consistently lower scores across all academic areas. In each of the four core subjects of math, reading, … Read More

A reminder of workplace freedom – National Employee Freedom Week

David DorseyEducation

National Employee Freedom Week is a great time to reflect upon how fortunate Kansans are to have workplace freedom in a right-to-work state, one in which individuals are given the choice as to whether or not to join a union. As a former public school teacher in Kansas, I worked in an environment with significant union influence. The National Education … Read More

School administrators in Kansas got large pay hikes last year

Dave TrabertEducation

Kansans who’ve been bombarded with media reports of schools being underfunded might be surprised to learn that some school administrators received large pay hikes in the 2017 school year.  Open Records requests submitted to to 21 districts representing 50 percent of students statewide produced multiple examples of school administrators receiving more than a 5 percent pay hike, several of which … Read More

Pay Hikes at Johnson County Community College

Dave TrabertEducation

The 25 highest paid employees at Johnson County Community College each took home well in excess of $100,000 in the 2017 school year and some of them received double-digit pay increases.  Data provided through an Open Records request and posted to KansasOpenGov.org shows President & CEO Joseph Sopcich was paid just shy of $325,000.  Two welding trainers made the top … Read More

Kansas City School District Boosts Pay but Not for Teachers

Dave TrabertEducation

The Kansas City school district, one of several Kansas districts using taxpayer money to sue for more funding, managed to provide some pretty hefty pay increases for top management last year.  Total pay for the Kansas City school district increased by 3.8 percent to $168.8 million but teachers saw very little increase.  Collectively, those identified by the district as teachers … Read More