School districts overstate the impact of SB 71


Senate Ways & Means held a hearing this week on SB 71, which, as explained in a previous blog post, would correct some inequities in the distribution of Supplemental General State Aid (SGSA) / equalization funding and reduce the amount to be provided this year so that it approximates the amount promised by the Legislature last May. The reduction is … Read More

School funding controversy is about entitlement, not need


When every Johnson County school district qualifies as a property-poor district, you know you have a broken school funding formula…and a controversial claim based on entitlement. The Kansas Legislature authorized $134 million in school funding this year in a good-faith effort to resolve the Supreme Court equity finding in Gannon v. State of Kansas. Most of the increase, $109 million … 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.

The philosophy and research supporting at-risk funding – second in a series


As I discussed in the first blog in this series, the state of Kansas provides almost $400 million additionally each year for at-risk funding to K-12 education. But what is the philosophy behind spending more taxpayer dollars to educate economically disadvantaged students? What does the research say? And how have states responded in their particular “at-risk” funding formulas? In this blog I … Read More

Judicial panel used cherry-picked data in Gannon decision


(w)e conclude that the Kansas K-12 school finance formula still stands as constitutionally inadequate by its failure to assure and implement adequate funding to meet and sustain a constitutionally adequate education as a matter of sound expert opinion from those with relevant and reliable expertise and experience with the Kansas K-12 school system.(emphasis added) Thus is the opinion, filed December 30, 2014, from … Read More

Inaugural Podcast with Dave Trabert

Dave TrabertUncategorized

Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert talks about Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s State of the State address and budget proposal on KPI’s first podcast. Funding for K-12 education and the KPERS retirement system are also discussed.

It’s all about the money


President Reagan famously joked that “the most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  To be sure, there are some very good people with honest intentions in government, including public education.  But too often, variations of ‘it’s all about the kids’ really means ‘it’s all about the money.’ The latest example … 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