The reality of school spending and achievement

adminEducation

By Dave Trabert and Mike O’Neal A recent Wichita Eagle editorial ignored state statute in describing the Legislature’s policy goal that school districts should allocate 65 percent of total spending to Instruction.   The goal is not to be measured against current operating spending as claimed by the Eagle; the statute clearly says “It is the public policy goal of the … Read More

School spending, state aid set another record

David DorseyEducation

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 … Read More

New School Payroll Listings on KansasOpenGov.org

adminEducation

Payroll listings for 22 school districts, representing nearly 49% of total statewide public school enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year, are now available on KansasOpenGov.org. The data was collected through Open Records requests and includes all compensation but not benefits.  Each year’s updates can bring a host of changes from previous years, but the recurring themes that surface from year … Read More

Debunking the “Great Kansas Teacher Exodus” Myth

David DorseyEducation

David Dorsey, a senior education policy fellow with the Kansas Policy Institute, talks about an article he wrote exploding the myth – perpetuated by a Washington Post story – that the number of Kansas teachers leaving the profession is up dramatically and that it’s the fault of the Kanas legislature.

Washington Post article sinks to new low in describing plight and flight of Kansas teachers

David DorseyEducation

It is appalling what passes for journalism these days. A recent example of publishing a story utilizing the just-cite-what-others-are-saying-without-checking-the-facts-or-credibility approach to journalism comes courtesy of the Washington Post. An article by Valerie Strauss entitled “Why teachers can’t hotfoot it out of Kansas fast enough” was published August 2. It is a scathing indictment of the state of education in general … Read More

State-sponsored workshop reveals complexities of school district budgeting process

David DorseyEducation

You think completing and filing your income taxes is difficult? Try filling out the required budget forms school districts must do to comply with state law. I recently attended an all-day budgeting workshop sponsored by KSDE, along with more than one hundred superintendents, finance officers and the like from districts in the northeast part of the state. Since I am … Read More

David Dorsey Talks About At-Risk Funding

David DorseyEducation

David Dorsey explains at-risk school funding in Kansas including what it is, how it came to be and its status under the current block grant funding for Kansas K-12 education. David is a Senior Education Policy Analyst with Kansas Policy Institute with 20 years experience as a teacher, most recently teaching at-risk students in Topeka, and 15 years working in … Read More

USD 501 uses scare tactics to justify LOB election

David DorseyEducation

The USD 501 school board voted unanimously on April 29 to hold an election to increase the district’s local option budget (LOB). They claim the $3 million that could be raised with voter approval is necessary “in the face of state budget cuts.”  The district held three public meetings to discuss how to deal with what they called a $1.6 … Read More

School employment data shows gaps in reporting and wide variations among districts

David DorseyEducation

KPI has created a state public education employment metrics report for FY 2014 and the file can be accessed here. The file contains employment totals and also five categories of pupil-per-employee ratios. Here are some highlights and analysis. Pupils per classroom teacher The employment metrics file shows considerable variation among the districts when it comes to the number of pupils … Read More

The legislature and collective bargaining bills – much ado about the unnecessary

David DorseyEducation

This legislative session saw five bills float around under the newly refinished capitol dome that deal with collective bargaining between teachers and school boards. Here is a brief summary of what they would do. SB 136/HB 2257, drafted and supported by the education establishment, it would, among other things, allow each side to choose up to five items for negotiation. HB … Read More