••• Education •••

KNEA proposes $1.88 billion school funding reduction

This is not an April Fool’s joke…but it’s a pretty funny story about an April Fool’s joke that blew up on the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) teacher union.

Today’s KNEA newsletter included this April Fool’s spoof: “The chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee introduced a bill to adjust school funding upwards to make up for years of neglect. The “Keeping Our Word Act” would raise funding enough to cover all inflationary increases since the school finance system went into effect in 1992.”

KNEA must not be very goodper pupil inflation at math, because their proposal would result in a $1.88 billion funding reduction!

Per-pupil funding was $5,307 in 1992 but that didn’t include KPERS of $109 per-pupil, bringing total funding to $5,416.  Increasing that by inflation (Consumer Price Index, Midwest Urban Cities on a fiscal year basis) would put per-pupil funding at $9,067 per-pupil in 2015.  Actual funding in 2015 was $13,124.  Multiplying the difference by enrollment shows that actual funding was $1.88 billion higher than the inflation-adjusted amount requested by KNEA.

But Senate Ways & Means Chairman Ty Masterson is a nice guy and might not hold them accountable for the increase in KPERS.  In that case, $5,307 increased by inflation would be $8,885 and actual non-KPERS funding was $12,445 – so granting KNEA’s wish would only reduce funding by $1.64 billion.

It’s pretty sad that a group making self-righteous claims about schools being underfunded has no clue about the reality of what has been provided.