In Kansas, we find that few citizens know the facts about school spending, and other government spending too. An advertisement placed in Kansas newspapers by the Kansas Policy Institute aims to increase Kansans’ knowledge of school spending by presenting a few questions along with the answers.
The advertisements are useful because we’ve found that few people know the level of school spending. In fact, very few can come close to guessing the amount we spend on schools and whether that spending has increased or decreased in recent years. The story Most Kansans oppose higher school taxes reports on a poll conducted by KPI that discovered these results.
The school spending lobby, primarily the Kansas National Education Association (or KNEA, the teachers union) and the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB), aren’t helping Kansans learn the true facts about school spending. Amazingly, parents of schoolchildren are less informed about school spending facts than those without children in school.
While it is usually assumed that Kansans are willing to pay higher taxes to support schools, the poll found that this support wilts as the facts become known. The poll’s authors wrote: “Kansans are overwhelmingly opposed to paying higher taxes to give more money to schools under current conditions.”