As the Kansas Legislature decides just how many hundreds of millions of dollars more to give to K-12 education, keep this in mind: using history as a guide, all that money will not improve student outcomes.
The graphics are a testament to that. Combining per pupil spending, employment and enrollment data from KSDE with NAEP reading and math scores it is clear that despite significant increases in spending – a rate nearly double that of inflation – student achievement has been flat as a western Kansas landscape. There is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case it only needs to be worth six: More money does not improve outcomes. Going back to 2000 – the earliest reliable outcome data is available – reading and math scores are virtually unchanged, even though per pupil spending over that period has increased by over two-thirds.
This information and much, much more on spending and outcomes is available at Kansas Policy Institute’s latest education Fact Book.