Mike O’Neal, President of Kansas Chamber of Commerce, spoke to members and guests of the Wichita Pachyderm Club on October 9, 2015. His topic was “The Kansas Budget and Taxes: The 2015 Legislative Session and Looking Ahead to the 2016 Legislative Session.” This is an audio presentation.
Reporting from the Wichita Eagle on this event is here, but be sure to read the comment by Dave Trabert of Kansas Policy Institute:
The Eagle’s analysis here is just wrong. The statute does not refer to current spending as the Eagle used, but total spending.
72-64c01. Sixty-five percent of moneys to be spent on instruction. (a) It is the public policy goal of the state of Kansas that at least 65% of the moneys appropriated, distributed or otherwise provided by the state to school districts shall be expended in the classroom or for instruction. http://www.kslegislature.org/…/072…/072_064c_0001_k/
Absent a qualification limiting the analysis to current spending or anything else, the statue applies to total spending.
Total spending according to KSDE in 2014 (2015 hasn’t been publised) was $5,975,517,681 and Instruction spending (downloaded and tabulated across all funds in the KSDE Comprehensive Fiscal and Performance System) was $3,293,217,088, which is 55.1% of spending. Mike O’Neal correctly said that Instruction accounted for 55% of total spending.
The difference between actual spent on Instruction and 65% is therefore $591,576,250. That is more than $500 million…and the Eagle is again wrong on the facts.
FYI, the definition of Instruction comes from KSDE and the US Dept of Education…and has not changed over the period.