Math error could cost taxpayers $83 million per year

Dave TrabertEducation

Senate Bill 251, which is the Kansas Senate’s proposed new school funding formula, contains an unintentional math error that could cost citizens $83 million per year in unnecessary taxation if not corrected.  The methodology for calculating Base State Aid Per Pupil (BSAPP) in the new formula is based on actual spending of 41 districts identified that exceeded specific outcomes. Kansas … Read More

A tax on your income tax?

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

A legislative session that has seen a wide range of anti-freedom proposals – e.g., allowing government to set fringe benefit standards for private employers, requiring employees to make donations to unions, stripping citizens of their right to vote on property tax increases – just produced another jaw-dropping suggestion.  The House Taxation Committee wants to impose an income tax on your … Read More

Legislature may need course correction on K-12 education funding bill

David DorseyEducation

The Kansas legislature has reached what they term first adjournment, a fancy term for a three-week recess. Lawmakers will take a deep breath and reconvene in early May, faced with a full-plated agenda that will feature approving a new K-12 education finance law attempting to satisfy the Supreme Court’s decree of a having in place a constitutionally adequate funding mechanism … Read More

KASB Funding Proposal Ignores Legal Test of Adequacy

David DorseyEducation

The Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) provided written testimony to the House K-12 Education Budget Committee as the committee held hearings on HB 2410, a would-be new K-12 education funding law. They included a funding proposal to increase K-12 dollars by a whopping $778.7 million per year and tried to justify their wish by tying it to the Supreme … Read More

Mike O’Neal speaks out on the Gannon decision

David DorseyEducation

Former House Speaker Mike O’Neal in his thesis: GANNON: The Fallacy of the Court’s Emerson Analysis takes issue with the way the Kansas Supreme Court applied the definition of adequacy in their March 2017 decision. O’Neal points to the Court’s issue that one-fourth to one-third of Kansas students lack basic skills as justification that K-12 education financing is unconstitutionally inadequate, … Read More

False claims on Kansas school funding

Dave TrabertEducation

Fair warning to Kansans: beware of false claims on Kansas school funding.  Anyone saying the Supreme Court ruling says taxpayers must increase school funding by any amount is either repeating bad information they’ve been given or is consciously making a false claim. Former state budget director Duane Goossen, who now works for Kansas Action for Children, says “Now that the … Read More

New school funding formula required by Court

Dave TrabertEducation

School lawyers and some legislators are saying it will require $400 million to $800 million more per-year to satisfy the Court but that’s not what the Court said. State legislators should ignore those claims and focus on what the Supreme Court actually said: build a new school funding formula that is reasonable calculated so that students can meet the Rose standards.  … Read More

At-risk overhaul needed in education finance law

David DorseyEducation

As the Legislature works through the arduous process of putting together a new K-12 education funding system, opportunities abound. One of those is the chance to overhaul one of the largest components, and biggest failures, of the old formula – the At-risk program. Why was the old program a failure? The old At-risk program was ineffective, inefficient and confusing. It … Read More

New school funding formula would cost $965 million

Dave TrabertEducation

Kansas school officials and teacher unions came out in strong support on Wednesday for House Bill 2270, a proposed new school funding formula that would cost taxpayers $965 million over a 4-year phase in.  Some supporters expressed concern that the big price tag wasn’t enough but said the plan was a good starting point. Legislators terminated the old formula in … Read More

Kansans want school funding formula to hold districts accountable

Dave TrabertEducation

School districts and unions are lobbying hard to resurrect Kansas’ outdated funding formula with a lot more money added but citizens clearly want something else.  A new market research study released last week shows that Kansans overwhelmingly want a school funding formula that holds districts accountable for spending money efficiently and for improving outcomes.  SurveyUSA conducted the study on behalf … Read More