••• Education •••

School spending, state aid set another record

Just released information by the Kansas Department of Education reveals education spending in the Sunflower State reached all-time highs in both total and per-pupil expenditures in 2014-15 and will continue in the current year.

In the 2014-15 school year, total spending increased by more than $100 million and topped the $6 billion mark for the first time.  It marked the fourth consecutive year there was an increase in total spending. State aid was at an all-time high, at just under $4 billion, an increase for the fifth consecutive year. For the first time in recent history, the 20 mills of property tax mandated for school funding was properly recorded as state aid rather than local, accounting for about $579 million of the $701 million state aid increase.

Per-pupil costs also increased for the fourth consecutive year, a record $13,124, breaking the $13 thousand ceiling for the first time.

And according to official KSDE estimates, record spending will continue in the 2015-16 school year. With block grant funding in place, expenditures are due to increase to $6.14 billion and per-pupil spending is expected to be $13,200, records in both categories. As was described in this earlier post, the increases from the block grants aren’t just KPERS related. It’s time to retire that false explanation.

KPI is monitoring school financial data released by KSDE, with more up-to-date information forthcoming.