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Archive for Tuesday, June 14, 2011

State Board of Education begins 2012-13 budget talks amid cuts in state support

June 14, 2011

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— School officials Tuesday loaded up for the next round of spending fights as the State Board of Education started budget talks.

Board Chairman David Dennis, a Republican from Wichita, and a school teacher, indicated he would push for an increase to make up for several years of school cuts.

“I got a great education,” as a child, Dennis said, and it was because “people sacrificed.”

But Walt Chappell, also of Wichita, and who just recently switched back to the Republican Party, said he wanted a plan that the Legislature, which sets appropriations, wouldn’t ignore.

The past two budget proposals from the board, he said, have been “dead on arrival.” He added, “I wonder if there is a more realistic way to put this budget together.”

The 10-member board will make a budget recommendation at its next monthly meeting in July, which will then be submitted to Gov. Sam Brownback’s office. In January, Brownback will propose to the Legislature a budget that will include a proposal for the 2012-13 school year.

School funding makes up about half the state budget, and amid historic revenue shortfalls, classrooms have been cut.

During the recently completed legislative session, the Legislature approved Brownback’s recommendation to decrease base state aid from $4,012 per student to $3,780 per student.

Just to bring that figure back up to $4,012 per student would require $154.5 million — about the same amount of revenue a one-half cent state sales tax increase would generate. To increase base state aid to the 2008-09 level of $4,400 per student would cost $412.9 million.

In addition, the state zeroed out funding for programs for teachers such as professional development and mentoring.

Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis told the board it has a difficult task in setting budget priorities. “These are tough decisions,” he said.

Board member David Dennis conceded state leaders are in no mood to consider a tax increase, but he said in his discussions with students’ parents, they have indicated they are willing to pay more.

He said it is the board’s responsibility to advocate for students and school districts.

Comments

weeslicket 2 years, 10 months ago

gkerr says the following: 1. Is their any reliable evidence that more spending on education actually improves objectively measured outcomes? 2. Sister Mary Jafs, Thank you Sister. Do I have to sit on the naughty stool again? 3. .... When comparing a population of voucher kids from a particular socioeconomic, neighborhood, family group, etc. with kids that applied for vouchers and didn't get them because of unlucky lottery results,.... and on.......

gkerr, questions: are you setting the stage for our governor brownbak to implement a "voucher" system in the state beginning next year? will sister mary jafs be involved? hmmmmm??

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gkerr 2 years, 10 months ago

Paul R. Getto, The answer is yes and no it seems to me. In reading the referred power point Kansas does better in outcomes compared to regional states and it spends more. That may be due to the money spent on education or the nature of the cultural and racial and class make up of the state or some other variable. That being said nationally we are right in the middle in spending yet well above average in outcome, which speaks to the notion that money alone is not the only consideration, maybe class, culture, respect for traditional understanding of the importance of education, percentage of intact families, cost of living issues, etc. Cloud the issues and make an easy assessment of the effect of dollars spent on results difficult. In many parts of the country the worst act scores and graduation rates and literacy skills are produced in the school systems that spend the most money.

One other issue to bear in mind, When comparing a population of voucher kids from a particular socioeconomic, neighborhood, family group, etc. with kids that applied for vouchers and didn't get them because of unlucky lottery results, the kids from the much lower cost private schools did better in outcomes than the ones who remained in the much higher cost public schools. Studies were done on this in Milwaukee, NYC, And DC. In our community cost per pupil for public school education is north of 9000 per year while parochial school cost is less than half that. The parochial grade school has about the same percent of students on lunch assistance as the average of the two public grade schools in town. The parochial school has much better Iowa basic skills test results than the state average and much better than the public school results locally. These cross comparisons between public/private, high cost low cost seem to refute the notion that money spent equates to results. I don't think it is that simple, and perhaps money becomes counterproductive when it dominates the imagination of the bureaucrats and Unions involved in so much public education. Money might become the tail that wags the dog. Gkerr

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 10 months ago

GKerr: The short answer, is 'yes.' Schools are complicated and serve such a varied clientele that it's hard to generalize: http://www.kasb.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Kansas_Schools_Achievement_Challenges_Funding2011.ppt#256,1,Kansas Public Schools: Achievement, Challenges & Funding. You might, however, find this powerpoint interesting. The group that produced it supports public education; the numbers are drawn from publicly available data bases. If money didn't matter in providing an education, the few 'rich' schools in Kansas and others around the country would be trying hard to give away their 'extra' money to poorer neighbors who have more challenging clientele. In a sense, public schools exist for children who chose the wrong parents. Win this lottery, and it doesn't matter a great deal where you live or go to school. Lose this first 'decision' and the public schools may be all that is left to save you.

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gkerr 2 years, 10 months ago

Is their any reliable evidence that more spending on education actually improves objectively measured outcomes? Gkerr

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Success 2 years, 10 months ago

We need a pro-growth strategy. Investments in early childhood and public education are pro-growth strategies. Communities, states and nations that attract and invest in human capital will grow and prosper. If we continue to try to drive immigrants away and cut our investments in education and training, we will lose population and fail to attract and grow business and thus reduce economic oppotunities.

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Tracy Rogers 2 years, 10 months ago

Not just Augenblick and Myers.....there was a Legislative Post Audit study done that came up with basically the same conclusion. State is not funding education at the level it needs to be.

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Times are tough we all have to tighten our belts. Just remember 65 cents of every dollar spent from the general fund of Kansas is spent on some kind of educational program or school. So don't believe the naysayers when they say we Kansans do not make a stong effort in the area of education. The question is how will we reform the spending to get more to the teachers and classroom and reduce the administrative costs?

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