New data released to the 2015 Special Committee on K-12 Student Success shows that school districts collectively spent $13.5 million less on Instruction last year, even though total spending increased by $104.5 million. The complete breakout for each cost center has not been released, but KSDE did provide total spending in an earlier release.
The $3.281 billion spent on Instruction represents 53.96 percent of $6.080 in total spending, which is the lowest allocation to Instruction in the last ten years. Local school boards alone determine the allocation of funding to Instruction, Administration and other cost centers; legislators have no say over allocations.
In 2006, the Legislature set an aspirational policy goal of getting 65 percent of total spending to Instruction where students would benefit the most from the court-ordered Montoy funding windfall but the highest allocation of 55.34 percent occurred in 2008. School districts have asked that the definition of Instruction be expanded to include other spending, but the definition as set by the U.S. Department of Education has remained constant over the period.