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

kansanjayhawk 4 years, 2 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?

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Except, of course, that the legislature's own studies showed that KS was underfunding the educational system, and the KS Supreme Court ruled that they must do so.

That was before the latest round of cuts.

kansanjayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

Sadly the judiciary is not qualified to make such decisions. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip when the money just isn't there. We need to get this economy going and then there will be plenty of money but you did not address the administrative cost issue at all I noticed?

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Again, it's the legislature's own studies that concluded KS was not funding the educational system adequately.

The SC ruling was that KS must live up to it's mandate to fund the system adequately - it has a constitutional obligation to do so.

Administrative costs may be too high, but that's a separate issue.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

And, of course the judiciary in the form of the KS Supreme Court is extremely qualified to make decisions about constitutional obligations.

ferrislives 4 years, 2 months ago

...but we have enough money to enforce new laws that force incest and rape victims to carry a pregnancy of any resulting conception?

That makes sense.

kansanjayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

That was about the issue of our insurance premiums being used to pay for abortion... has nothing to do with tax dollars.

weeslicket 4 years, 2 months ago

D'oh ! smackdown !

(augenblick and myers. augenblick and myers.)

Tracy Rogers 4 years, 2 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.

kansanjayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

Well I 'm not sure what you are suggesting when our economy is actually shrinking in Kansas? We have to turn the economy around before we can continue to grow government entities. Sound economics is what we need in this state and I'm thankful we have a conservative hand at the throttle!

weeslicket 4 years, 2 months ago

heh. heh. kansasjayhawk just said "throttle!" (and with exclamation!!) here, check this out: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/throttle (it's fun to compare the definitions for the nouns :: against the definitions for the verbs.)

Success 4 years, 2 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.

kansanjayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

65 cents of every dollar from the Kansas general fund is spent on some form of educational program or school! How much more do you think we need to spend on these programs? The real question is how are we going to reform education to make sure we get results and that we reduce administrative costs and get the monies to the teachers and classrooms where it belongs.

weeslicket 4 years, 2 months ago

kansasjayhawk asks a question: "65 cents of every dollar from the Kansas general fund is spent on some form of educational program or school! How much more do you think we need to spend on these programs?"

the answer comes in between 65 cents on the dollar, and 70 cents on the dollar.
so, you are whining about less than a nickle.

here, let me give you a comparison from the article: A. "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." that's the 1/2 penny example. also the 1/10 nickle example. both the same.

B. "To increase base state aid to the 2008-09 level of $4,400 per student would cost $412.9 million." that's the 2 + 1/4pennies equals 2.25 pennies example. or, even round up to 3 cents on the dollar.

gkerr 4 years, 2 months ago

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

gkerr 4 years, 2 months ago

Sister Mary Jafs,

Thank you Sister. Do I have to sit on the naughty stool again?

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

That's a frightening peek into your history.

TMI.

gkerr 4 years, 2 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

deec 4 years, 2 months ago

Actually Milwaukee voucher students perform at the same level or worse than public school students, when tested with the same standardized materials. http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/education/blog/article_06f667ca-59fe-11e0-a36e-001cc4c002e0.html

gkerr 4 years, 2 months ago

Deec, Yes that is true. In Milwaukee the voucher kids perform at the same level as the public school kids and the only difference in the families of each group was the luck of the draw. Lucky ones got into the parochial schools as the Parents wanted out, fervently wanted out of the public System. The following is from USA today article in mid April as reprised in NRO blog :: ....."If we’re serious about giving students from low-income backgrounds a chance to succeed economically later in life, we need to start making vouchers more widely available. In Washington, D.C., a 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Education found that there was a 21 percentage point gap between the graduation rates of those in the voucher program (graduation rate: 91%) and those who had applied, but had failed to win the placement lottery (70%). A study released late last month by the University of Arkansas’ School Choice Demonstration Project showed a similar pattern in Milwaukee, with those using vouchers in the 9th grade graduating at a rate (77%) eight percentage points higher than their peers in public schools (69%). D.C. kids get up to$7,500 for vouchers. In comparison, D.C. spends about $28,000 per public school pupil. It’s disappointing, sure, that at least for now, voucher kids are scoring about the same as their public school peers on academic tests. But if they’re getting the same quality of education for a quarter of the cost to taxpayers, that’s intriguing in itself. In Milwaukee, the cost difference isn’t quite as dramatic — about $14,000 per public school students vs. up to around $6,500 per voucher student — but it’s still costing taxpayers double the amount to fund the public school student who’s receiving the same level of ....."" One final point of great importance. Voucher kids graduate at a much higher rate than Public school kids. The diploma itself is a treasure for job and personal advancement of the student. Somehow the parochial school experience lends focus and commitment to follow through in an environment that is more welcoming, less hostile than the mega public school cookie cutter experience, so kids stay through graduation. Also evidence is clear that in DC, NYC, and other districts cheating with proctors coaching AT THE TIME OF EXAM was discovered in many instances. The erasure and answer change rates were much higher In the public districts.
Just Sayin' Gkerr

weeslicket 4 years, 2 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??

gkerr 4 years, 2 months ago

Weeslicket,

Yes we are working on a stealth program to voucherize all K through 12 education bringing Hope and Change and choice to all parents and all students in the State.

Sr. Mary Jafs has applied for the Position of superintendent but Sr. Mary Veronica wants that position as well. Sr.Mary Jafs would make an ideal Free district Grammarian and spelling referee if Beatrice wins the Superintendant job. GKerr

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