Kansas State Department of Education

GDP by metropolitan area and component

GDP by metropolitan area and component

An interactive visualization of gross domestic product by metropolitan area and industry. The Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, gathers data about economic output, known as gross domestic product. The visualization I have created presents this data in tabular and graphic form. (more…)
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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 employment

Kansas school employment

Kansas school employment rose for the current school year. Figures released by the Kansas State Department of Education show the number of teachers and certified employees rose for the 2019-2020 school year. The number of Pre-K through grade 12 teachers rose to 31,337 from 31,153, an increase of 0.59 percent. Certified employees rose to 43,305 from 42,861, or by 1.04 percent. [1. According to KSDE, certified employees include Superintendent, Assoc./Asst. Superintendents, Administrative Assistants, Principals, Assistant Principals, Directors/Supervisors Spec. Ed., Directors/Supervisors of Health, Directors/Supervisors Career/Tech Ed, Instructional Coordinators/Supervisors, All Other Directors/Supervisors, Other Curriculum Specialists, Practical Arts/Career/Tech Ed Teachers, Special Ed. Teachers,…
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Kansas school salaries

Kansas school salaries

Kansas school salaries, visualized. This is an interactive visualization of Kansas school salaries for superintendents, principals, and teachers, for each school district. To learn more about the data and use the visualization, click here. Following, an example from the visualization.
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Wichita public schools, by the charts

Wichita public schools, by the charts

Data from the annual report for the 2018-2019 school year for USD 259, the Wichita, Kansas public school district. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for USD 259, the Wichita public school district, provides a look at trends over the years. The document, along with those from previous years, is available here. Here are some highlights from the CAFR for the year ending June 30, 2019, known as fiscal year 2019. The CAFR was released in December 2019. (Click charts for larger versions.) The following chart shows data from the CAFR along with my calculations. I took two data series, "total…
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In NAEP mapping study, Kansas shines

In NAEP mapping study, Kansas shines

In a new edition of a study that assesses the stringency of state school assessments, Kansas performs well. States are free to create their own tests to measure the performance of students in their schools. There is variability in how stringently states construct their tests. The U.S. Department of Education, through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), conducts the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) every other year. Known as "The Nation's Report Card," it is "the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas." [1. National Assessment of…
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Wichita public schools, by the charts

Wichita public schools, by the charts

Data from the annual report for USD 259, the Wichita, Kansas, public school district. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for USD 259, the Wichita public school district, provides a look at trends over the years. The document, along with those from previous years, is available here. Here are some highlights from the CAFR for the year ending June 30, 2018, known as fiscal year 2018. (Click charts for larger versions.) The following chart shows data from the CAFR along with my calculations. I took two data series, "total revenue" and "sum of state and local revenue," then divided by FTE…
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Kansas tax credit scholarship program

Kansas tax credit scholarship program

An op-ed in the Wichita Eagle regarding school choice prompts uninformed and misinformed comments. An op-ed written by James Franko appearing in the Wichita Eagle explains the importance of the Kansas Tax Credit for Low Income Students Scholarship Program. This is a program that awards scholarships to students to attend schools of choice. It is a small program. For the school year ending in 2018, 292 students received scholarships totaling $675,892.63. This represents one of every 9,606 dollars spent on Kansas schools. For each group of 1,632 Kansas students, one received a tax credit scholarship. Yet, this program is seen…
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Kansas school salaries

Kansas school salaries

An interactive visualization of Kansas school salaries by district and category. This visualization holds salaries of Kansas school superintendents, principals, and teachers. The visualization shows the average for each of these categories for each school district. The values are adjusted for inflation to the most current year values. Some data is presented on a per-pupil basis using full-time equivalent student counts. The visualization includes both tables and charts. The source of the data is Kansas State Department of Education for salaries and enrollments, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for price levels, and author's calculations. Click here to access 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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Wichita school spending, according to the Wichita Eagle

Wichita school spending, according to the Wichita Eagle

A recent editorial by the largest newspaper in Kansas misinforms its readers. "For too many years, the [Wichita public school] district was constrained by reduced state spending on public-school children. School systems across Kansas tightened belts to the point of being unable to breathe." [1. Wichita Eagle Editorial Board. *A well-funded Wichita school district. A sight this city’s children deserve." August 10, 2018. Available at https://www.kansas.com/opinion/editorials/article216418710.html.] So says a recent editorial in the Wichita Eagle, the largest newspaper in Kansas. What does the data tell us? Data from the Kansas State Department of Education for the school year ending in…
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Kansas school standards remain high

Kansas school standards remain high

Kansas school assessment standards remain at a high level, compared to other states. This is a welcome change from the past. To evaluate the performance of their schools and students, states have their own assessments or tests. Some states have rigorous standards, meaning that to be considered "proficient," students must perform at a high level. But some states are less rigorous. They rate students "proficient" at a much lower level of performance. How can we tell which states have high standards, and which states have low standards? There is a test that is the same in all states, the National…
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What is the real problem at Wichita Southeast?

What is the real problem at Wichita Southeast?

There is likely a different explanation for problems at a Wichita high schools from what we've been told by the school district and our newspaper. Recently the Wichita Eagle editorial board opined about problems with Wichita Southeast High School. That editorial was based on Eagle reporting in the article The new Southeast High is bigger and better. So why is its graduation rate dropping? Sociologist Chase Billingham offers commentary and insight in his piece Southeast’s grad rate more about discipline: The Wichita school district officials and The Eagle Editorial Board said the slipping graduation rate was partially attributable to the…
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Kansas school spending

Kansas school spending

New data for spending in Kansas schools is available. Through its Data Central section, Kansas State Department of Education has made spending figures available for the school year ending in spring 2017, or the fiscal 2017 school year. These are amounts per pupil, adjusted for inflation to 2016 dollars, showing change from 2016 to 2017. State aid: $8,613 to $8,714 Federal aid: $1,058 to $1,082 Local: $3,460 to 3,441 Total: $13,144 to $13,326 In 2015 there was a shift in the way state and local figures are allocated, so it's important to look at state and local spending as a…
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Kansas school fund balances

Kansas school fund balances

Kansas school fund balances rose this year, in both absolute dollars and dollars per pupil. As Kansans debate school funding, as the Kansas Supreme Court orders more school spending, and as schools insist that spending has been slashed, a fact remains: Kansas schools don't spend all the money they've been given. Unspent fund balances grow in many years, and grew this year. Fund balances are necessary for cash flow management. They buffer the flows of receipts and expenditures. The issue is what levels of balances are necessary, and, more importantly, how the balances change over years. In Kansas, school districts…
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Deconstructing Don Hineman

Deconstructing Don Hineman

Another Kansas legislator explains why raising taxes was necessary. So he says. Many members of the Kansas Legislature are writing pieces defending their decision to vote for higher taxes. Don Hineman is one. His explanation merits more than average attention, as he is the Majority Leader of the Kansas House of Representatives. This week the Topeka Capital-Journal published his op-ed Rep. Don Hineman: Why tax reform was necessary. It deserves comment. Hineman wrote: "This return to common sense tax policy resulted from legislators listening to their constituents and fulfilling the promises they made during 2016 campaigns." There may have been…
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Shocking News about Kansas Education!

Shocking News about Kansas Education!

By Paul Waggoner. This column first appeared in the Hutchinson News. Listening too often to Topeka politicians and administrators can leave a normal person feeling rather jaded, even used. Or maybe it’s the reporting, sometimes I just don’t know. Such was the case Tuesday reading the News report of Kansas Dept of Education Deputy commissioner Dale Dennis speech to the local Rotary club (Hutchinson News, April 18, “Ed Official: Fund Gap numbers shocking”). His talk was filled with boilerplate and themes typical of the education establishment. Mr. Dennis made multiple comparisons and statements of fact to prove his points. In…
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Fake government spawns fake news

Fake government spawns fake news

Discussions of public policy need to start from a common base of facts and information. An episode shows that both our state government and news media are not helping. A recent Hutchinson News article[3. Clarkin, Mary. Department of Education’s Dennis: Shocking number when looking at funding gap. Hutchinson News. April 17, 2017. http://www.hutchnews.com/news/local_state_news/department-of-education-s-dennis-shocking-number-when-looking-at/article_4abe359e-8421-53f9-a8d7-1eaa56e95423.html.] started with this: Once you wake up to where Kansas was in 1992 at funding schools and what it needs to do to get caught up, said the Kansas Department of Education’s Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis, it’s a shocker. In 1992, base state aid per pupil was…
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Wrong direction for Wichita public schools

Wrong direction for Wichita public schools

A letter in the Wichita Eagle illustrates harmful attitudes and beliefs of the public school establishment. The letter is titled "Wrong direction." It was submitted by John H. Wilson, was published on February 26, 2017, and may be read here. What's wrong in this letter? Here's one thing: "First, the ill-founded assertion is that parents are well equipped to identify the best school for their children. Wrong." This is an incredibly bigoted assertion. This is one of the standard arguments against school choice, that parents -- particularly minority and low-income families -- don't have the ability to make wise choices…
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