Kansas K-12 Carryover Reserves

Dave TrabertEducation

Kansas school districts have been accumulating unspent taxpayer funds even as they call for increased funding. Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert talks with podcast host Paul Soutar about these funds, how they got there, what they mean to the debate over the school funding formula and what the Legislature can do about it.

At least $300 million in K-12 cash reserves potentially available


School districts may say they need their cash reserves to operate but if they each had maintained the same percentage of operating expense held in 2006, cash reserves would have been $320 million lower at the beginning of the 2014 school year. Most school districts claiming to have small cash reserves are only talking about their Contingency Fund, which is … Read More

Kansas Court Rulings on K-12 Education

James FrankoEducation

Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert talks about recent rulings by Kansas courts on K-12 education funding. A district court ruling in December may have ignored a State Supreme Court ruling in March.

School districts budget large spending increases this year


Our review of school districts’ budgets for the current school year revealed some very interesting information.  Seventy-seven districts are planning double-digit spending increases on Administration.  The unweighted average increase on Instruction is 10 percent.  We also found that 122 districts plan a larger increase on Administration spending than on Instruction. You can download an Excel file here listing total budgeted per-pupil spending by … Read More

Kansas school funding decision ignores facts in arriving at a political decision

Dave TrabertEducation

Today’s ruling on Gannon v. State of Kansas in which the Shawnee County District Court declared school funding to be unconstitutionally low ignores a long list of facts that disprove school districts’ contentions.  The three-judge panel may even have ignored the State Supreme Court’s order that adequacy is to be determined on whether outcomes – as defined by the Rose … Read More

Many school districts ignore state transparency law

Dave TrabertEducation

The Kansas Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Act – K.S.A. 72-8254 – passed in 2013 requires every school district to publish the budget summary for the current school year and actual expenditures for the immediately preceding two school years showing total dollars net of transfers and dollars per pupil.  The statue clearly says the report “shall be published with an … Read More

New Survey: Kansans Remain Misinformed Regarding K-12 Finance


New Survey: Kansans Remain Misinformed Regarding K-12 Finance Residents Also Weary of Tax Hikes, Service Cuts – Want  More Efficient Government November 13 – Wichita – While the election ads have stopped, Kansans remain deeply misinformed about the true state of the Kansas budget and K-12 finance. Kansas Policy Institute released a public opinion survey today from SurveyUSA that takes the pulse of … Read More

A teacher’s perspective on Gannon

David DorseyEducation

Once again, the Kansas Supreme Court has made a ruling on public school financing. In the much anticipated Gannon case, last Friday the court ruled that certain aspects of public school funding in Kansas are unconstitutional. Many are asking a simple question in response to the decisions – Does this mean the legislature (through Kansas taxpayers) will be forced to … Read More

Reaction to Kansas Supreme Court Ruling on Gannon School Finance Case


By: Mike O’Neal, former Speaker of the House; President and CEO, The Kansas Chamber I’ve now had the opportunity to read the 110 page Gannon decision, released today. At the outset, I appreciate the fact that the court released its decision before the conclusion of the 2014 legislative session. Also, as an attorney, I appreciate the degree of scholarly legal … Read More

Supreme Court ruling on school finance – some very good news and a few questions

Dave TrabertEducation

The Kansas Supreme Court ruling on school finance has some very good news for citizens and also raises some interesting questions that legislators and citizens will have to address. First, the good news. The Court upheld what we have constantly maintained – education is about outcomes rather than money. They specifically said “…total spending is not the touchstone for determining … Read More