Kansas State Board of Education

Kansas school spending, through 2020

Kansas school spending, through 2020

Charts of Kansas school spending presented in different forms. Recently Kansas State Department of Education released spending figures for the 2020 school year, that is, the school year starting in 2019 and ending in 2020. One of the most important charts shows state spending per-pupil, adjusted for inflation. It shows the total of state and local spending, which is useful because in 2015 the state made a change in the way revenue is allocated between state and local sources. It also shows base state aid per pupil, which is an important number as it is the starting point for the…
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Kansas school spending, through 2018

Kansas school spending, through 2018

Charts of Kansas school spending presented in different forms. Recently Kansas State Department of Education released spending figures for the 2018 school year, that is, the school year starting in 2017 and ending in 2018. One of the most important charts shows state spending per-pupil, adjusted for inflation. It shows the total of state and local spending, which is useful because in 2015 the state made a change in the way revenue is allocated between state and local sources. It also shows base state aid per pupil, which is an important number as it is the starting point for the…
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Dale Dennis, sage of Kansas school finance?

Dale Dennis, sage of Kansas school finance?

Is the state's leading expert on school funding truly knowledgeable, or is he untrustworthy? Recent events have found Kansas Department of Education’s Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis in the news regarding a possible mistake or misapplication of school funds. The school spending establishment has rushed to his rescue, with Kansas National Education Association, Kansas Association of School Boards, United School Administrators of Kansas, Kansas School Superintendents Association, and American Federation of Teachers Kansas issuing a joint statement. Dale Dennis, says the statement, is "the best friend public education and the kids of Kansas have had." He is described as "the most…
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Kansas state school assessments

Kansas state school assessments

An interactive presentation of Kansas state school assessment scores at the state, district, and building levels. Kansas State Department of Education makes available school assessment results at its website Kansas Building Report Card, available at ksreportcard.ksde.org. The present assessments were first given in 2014, although results for that year were not made available.[1. Kansas State Board of Education. Agenda Packet for July 2014. http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/Board/Materials%20&%20Agendas/2014/JULY%20BOARD%20PACKET%20rfs.pdf.] KSDE background explains that scores on the tests are categorized in four levels: "Kansas assessment results are now reported in four levels. Level 1 indicates that student is not performing at grade-level standards. Level 2 indicates…
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Public education factbook for 2017

Public education factbook for 2017

The fifth edition of data on public schools in Kansas is available. Kansas Policy Institute has released a new edition of its Public Education Fact Book. KPI describes this book: KPI’s fifth annual Public Education Fact Book is a one-stop shop for data on public school information from The Sunflower State. Numerous scientific surveys show that citizens are grossly misinformed on many pertinent facts of public education in Kansas. Aid and spending per-pupil are much higher than many Kansans believe, and student achievement is lower than understood. This fact book series aims to rectify this situation. This document is available…
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Accountability in Kansas public schools

Accountability in Kansas public schools

Critics of school choice say there is no accountability outside the traditional public schools. Here are the standards Kansas used to hold its schools accountable. Are non-traditional public schools held properly accountable? Do charter schools and private schools escape the accountability standards states use for their traditional public schools, particularly in Kansas? A standard argument against school choice is that charter schools and private schools are not held accountable. Underlying this argument is the assumption that parents have neither the time nor technical expertise to properly evaluate the schools their children attend. Only those with special training can do this,…
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Year in Review: 2016

Year in Review: 2016

Here are highlights from Voice for Liberty for 2016. Was it a good year for the principles of individual liberty, limited government, economic freedom, and free markets in Wichita and Kansas? Also be sure to view the programs on WichitaLiberty.TV for guests like journalist, novelist, and blogger Bud Norman; Radio talk show host Joseph Ashby; David Bobb, President of Bill of Rights Institute; Heritage Foundation trade expert Bryan Riley; Radio talk show host Andy Hooser; Keen Umbehr; John Chisholm on entrepreneurship; James Rosebush, author of "True Reagan," Jonathan Williams of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); Gidget Southway, or Danedri Herbert;…
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Decoding the Kansas teachers union

Decoding the Kansas teachers union

Decoding and deconstructing communications from KNEA, the Kansas teachers union, lets us discover the true purpose of the union. Here, we look at a dispatch from Kansas National Education Association's "Under the Dome" newsletter from March 14, 2013. It may be found here. The topic of this day was a charter school bill. Kansas has a law that allows charter schools, which are public schools that operate outside many of the rules and regulations that govern traditional public schools. But the Kansas law is written in a way that makes it difficult to form a charter school, and as a…
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Public school experts

Public school experts

Do only those within the Kansas public schooling community have a say? In a letter to the Wichita Eagle, a longtime educator asks "Just how much confidence in the schooling community should taxpayers embrace?"[1. John H. Wilson. Trust judgment of school educators. Wichita Eagle, October 6, 2016. Available here.] The answer should be: Some. The author's primary topic in this letter was school funding. He writes that public school educators are best qualified to decide school funding issues, and we should trust their judgment. The problem is that public school educators have a self-interest in this matter that goes beyond…
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VIDEO: KPERS payments and Kansas schools

VIDEO: KPERS payments and Kansas schools

There is a claim that a recent change in the handling of KPERS payments falsely inflates school spending. The Kansas State Department of Education says otherwise. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Click here for more about this topic.
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David Dennis, gleeful regulatory revisionist

David Dennis, gleeful regulatory revisionist

David Dennis, candidate for Sedgwick County Commission, rewrites his history of service on the Kansas State Board of Education. In 2012 the Lawrence Journal-World reported this regarding a meeting of the Kansas State Board of Education: "Board chairman David Dennis of Wichita said the state needs more information on home schools to ensure that children are being taught. ... Dennis suggested perhaps the board should propose legislation to increase the state reporting requirements for home schoolers."[1. Rothschild, Scott. State board discusses home-schooling requirements. Lawrence Journal-World, August 14, 2012. Available at www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/aug/14/state-board-discusses-home-schooling-requirements/.] Other newspapers published similar reports. Now, Dennis is a…
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KPERS payments and Kansas schools

KPERS payments and Kansas schools

There is a claim that a recent change in the handling of KPERS payments falsely inflates school spending. The Kansas State Department of Education says otherwise. A member of the Kansas State Board of Education has written an article that has received widespread attention. But the member, Jim Porter, is wrong on several accounts. In his article, Porter stated that a recent change in the handling of Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) contributions falsely inflates school spending.[1. "Deception #2 – Until recently the state contribution to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) was sent directly to KPERS. Now…
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School choice in Kansas: The haves and have-nots

School choice in Kansas: The haves and have-nots

Kansas non-profit executives work to deny low-income families the school choice opportunities that executive salaries can afford. Kansas Association of School Boards Executives and annual salaries [1. Source: IRS Form 990 for 2013] John Heim, Executive Director $158,809 Donna Whiteman, Assistant Executive Director $105,872 Can afford to send their children to any school. Kansas National Education Association Political Action Committee Executives and annual salaries [2. Source: IRS Form 990 for 2013] Karen Godfrey, President $98,234 Claudette Johns, Executive Director $125,052 Kevin Riemann, Associate Executive Director $123,143 David Schnauer, General Counsel $114,886 Marjorie Blaufuss, Staff Counsel $116,731 Mark Desetti, Director of…
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Kansas school standards found lower than in most states

Kansas school standards found lower than in most states

A second study finds that Kansas uses low standards for evaluating the performance of students in its public schools. What is the relative strength of weakness of the standards your state uses to evaluate students? A new study provides answers to this question. The report is Why Proficiency Matters. It is a project of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. This study is important because the most widely-reported source of data about student achievement is a state's own assessment tests. But there are problems, as explained in the report: A proficiency cut score is an actual number (score) on an…
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Kansas school test scores, an untold story

Kansas school test scores, an untold story

If the Kansas public school establishment wants to present an accurate assessment of Kansas schools, it should start with its presentation of NAEP scores. Kansas public school leaders are proud of Kansas schools, partly because of scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as "The Nation's Report Card." Kansas ranks high among the states on this test. It's important, however, to examine the results from a few different angles to make sure we understand the entire situation. I've gathered scores from the 2013 administration of the test, which is the most recent data available. I present data…
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In Kansas, school employment rises again

In Kansas, school employment rises again

For the fourth consecutive year, the number of teachers in Kansas public schools has risen faster than enrollment, leading to declining pupil-teacher ratios. Listening to Kansas school officials and legislators -- not to mention politicians campaigning for office -- you'd think that Kansas schools had very few teachers left, and that students were struggling in huge classes. But statistics from Kansas State Department of Education show that school employment has rebounded, both in terms of absolute numbers of teachers and certified employees, and the ratios of pupils to these employees. The story is not the same in every district. But…
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Kansas school spending and achievement

Following, from Dr. Walt Chappell, a discussion of Kansas school spending. Chappell served on the Kansas State Board of Education from 2009 to 2012. The truth is, Governor Brownback and most Kansas legislators have worked hard to get more money into K-12 classrooms and have increased funding to educate our children each of the last four years. Claims that funds for schools have been cut, supposedly causing test scores to drop, schools to close, class sizes to go up and college tuition to increase are totally false. Yes, there was a large reduction of $419 million to fund Kansas schools…
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What is truth on education finance in Kansas?

What is truth on education finance in Kansas?

From Kansas Policy Institute. Duane Goossen distorts the truth on education finance By Dave Trabert Former state budget director Duane Goossen’s recent blog post entitled “Woe to Education Finance” is yet another example of data being deliberately distorted or falsified for political gain. Mr. Goossen served as budget director under governors Graves, Sebelius and Parkinson and has been a vocal critic of anything even hinting at efficient government…let alone lower tax burdens. Indeed, his post concludes, “The fallout from the governor’s tax plan has made investment in Kansas public schools impossible.” That false claim is completely debunked on page 60 of the Division of…
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In Kansas, education is all about money and politics for UMEEA

In Kansas, education is all about money and politics for UMEEA

From Kansas Policy Institute. Education is all about money and politics for UMEEA By Dave Trabert Media reaction to the school finance legislation has been pretty predictable. It focuses almost exclusively on institutions and ignores the impact on students. As usual, it's all about money and politics. Unions, media and their allies in the education establishment (UMEEA) oppose tax credit scholarships for low income students. They rail against taxpayer money going to private schools and how that might mean a little less money for public institutions but ignore the very real purpose and need for the program. (FYI, the scholarship…
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Kansas Association of School Boards: Putting institutions and money before individual students

From Kansas Policy Institute. Kansas Association of School Boards: Putting institutions and money before individual students By Dave Trabert There is no question that many students receive a fine public education and go on to success in college or career, but there is also no question that thousands of students are left behind every year. Continuing to pour money into the current broken system -- whether ordered to so by courts or by choice -- will not close the large achievement gaps that exist for students of color and those from low-income families. Yet institutional demands for more money continue to…
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