2015 Legislative Wrap-up

Dave TrabertUncategorized

Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert summarizes the major accomplishments of the 2015 Kansas Legislature including changes to: K-12 school funding, renewable energy mandates, tax credit scholarships, property tax reform and avoidance of Medicaid expansion.

Lyon County schools to see overall increase in state aid under block grants

David DorseyEducation

Contrary to media reports and claims by many local education officials, data provided by the Kansas Department of Education shows that state aid to Kansas school districts will increase this year with the new block grants.  How can that be?  Well, when government talks about a ‘budget cut,’ that most often means that the rate of increased spending is less than it … Read More

USD 437 LOB election raises more questions than provides answers

David DorseyEducation

Auburn-Washburn USD 437 is in the midst of a Local Option Budget (LOB) election, asking district voters to approve an up-to three mill increase in their taxing authority. As part of the effort to convince us to support their request, I received, along with every other USD 437 resident, a propaganda card via USPS last week. The card (of which I … Read More

USD 500 Kansas City misleads on school funding and budget claims

Dave TrabertEducation

At a time when many school districts are issuing misleading statements about school funding to parents, teachers and legislators, recent claims by USD 500 Kansas City set a new transparency low.  A story in the Kansas City Star outlined the district’s plans to reduce spending, which  Superintendent Cynthia Lane blamed on “…years of low state funding, rising costs and the loss this … Read More

Proposed Lawrence USD 497 budget cuts: “It just don’t add up!”

David DorseyEducation

The Lawrence Board of Education reviewed a proposal to cut and reallocate more than $1.2 million from next year’s budget as a response to the new block grant education funding law. Superintendent Rick Doll said in this USD 497 news release “the new [block grant] system decreases state aid revenue for Lawrence Public Schools…we would lose an estimated $2 million in LOB and capital … 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

The political and judicial impact of at-risk funding in Kansas – at-risk funding part 3

David DorseyEducation

Note: Since the undertaking of this at-risk project, the school funding formula has changed to what’s commonly referenced as the block grant system. At-risk funding as a distinct pot of money technically has expired although the money  still goes to the schools. The block grant approach is scheduled to sunset after the next two years when the legislature rolls out a new … Read More

KSDE confirms that state aid to schools is increasing this year

Dave TrabertEducation

While some school districts and special interests claim state aid to schools is declining this year, KSDE Deputy Commissioner for Finance Dale Dennis confirms that state aid to schools is increasing. KSDE published spreadsheets comparing block grant equivalent funding for the 2013-14 school year with block grant funding for this year and the next two school years.  SF15-092 shows total funding … Read More

State aid to Saline, Ottawa and McPherson counties to increase under block grants

David DorseyEducation

Contrary to media reports and claims by many local education officials, data provided by the Kansas Department of Education shows that state aid to Kansas school districts will increase this year with the new block grants.  How can that be?  Well, when government talks about a ‘budget cut,’ that most often means that the rate of increased spending is less than it … Read More

Media is snowblind to school “budget cuts” and scheduling realities

adminEducation

Contestant: “Alex, I’ll take ‘Media Bias’ for 200.” Alex: “It’s what the news media calls a ‘snow day’ in Kansas.”  Contestant: “What is a budget cut?” Alex: “Correct! Although to my knowledge that answer/question combination has never been on Jeopardy!, it certainly would be appropriate the way the media continues to misrepresent the state of education funding in the Sunflower State. … Read More