Archive for Friday, November 4, 2011

State budget cuts have led to fewer teachers in Kansas schools while enrollment increases

November 4, 2011

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— State budget cuts to public schools have resulted in fewer teachers and more crowded classrooms, according to statistics reported Friday by the Kansas Department of Education.

The total number of teacher positions statewide in the current school year is 34,075.

That is a drop of 256 from last year and 1,363 since the 2008-09 school year total of 35,438.

Meanwhile, student enrollment has increased from 473,097 in 2008-09 to 482,798 in the current school year. That is an increase of 9,701 students. During that time, the Lawrence school district grew from 11,007 students to 11,613 students, an increase of 606 students.

The elimination of teacher positions coincides with cuts to school funding.

In the 2008-09 school year, base state aid to public schools was $4,400 per pupil. That figure is now $3,780 per pupil following several rounds of cuts, including the latest one of $232 per pupil approved by Gov. Sam Brownback.

Comments

Paul R Getto 3 years, 4 months ago

Sadly, we better get used to this trend. The proposed 'reforms' in education and other areas have only one goal......spend less money.

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

Not necessarily. The so-called "choice" movement really means spend less money... on teachers and facilities and then distribute the savings to commercial ventures instead of the taxpayers. You spend the same amount of money per pupil in theory, but you send that money off to a private enterprise with less transparency and plenty of motive to underpay wherever they can. They'll have the power to fire teachers without due process, and with the state doing them the favor of increasing the supply of unemployed teachers, they'll have plenty of leverage to gouge teacher pay. On average, charters employ less qualified and less experienced teachers, and those teachers end up leaving the profession sooner. That may be one of the reasons charters are more likely to do worse for kids than they are to do better.

Full disclosure: I'm not a teacher. My financial situation will neither improve nor decline as a direct result of legislation expanding charter schools. I am a parent, and I care passionately about my kids' educational wellbeing and want a strong public school system that improves education for all kids. Just thought I'd throw that in there, since this is the sort of thread that attracts our favorite Koch-funded libertarian propagandist and astroturf agitator, and he's more reticent to disclose his obvious conflict of interest.

Bob_Loblaw 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes.....and Mr. Rick Doll and locals....How exactly will school consolidation help this scenario? This is a rhetorical question that I know you can't answer.

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

Actually, it's NCLB that dumbs down intellectual standards by fixating on high stakes testing rather than evidence-based practices that would improve outcomes and higher thinking skills, but thanks for playing today's game of "knee-jerk public school bashing."

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

Aren't you cute with your little strawman arguments this morning. Too bad you're not using your higher level thinking skills or you might find a logical reason to support high stakes testing in spite of evidence that it impedes quality education. Oh right; there isn't one.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

But a lot of the countries currently beating the US in math and science do so with government schools.

How's that fit into your open mind?

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

You're right. Perhaps we should emulate Finland, where the better paid, highly unionized teachers don't give their kids any standardized tests at all until they take the PISA and kick US butts on it.

Oh wait, you were saying about the efficacy of high stakes testing again?

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

You're right. Perhaps we should emulate Finland, where the better paid, highly unionized teachers don't give their kids any standardized tests at all until they take the PISA and kick US butts on it.

Oh wait, you were saying about the efficacy of high stakes testing again?

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

It's damned tempting, but the defunding public education bug seems to be infecting most of them.

hurlingchunks 3 years, 4 months ago

After living in other states my personal experience says raise your kids in Kansas. My son and I moved back to Kansas in 08, the education system in California is so poor an over populated he didn't seem to have a chance of graduating. I feel the kansas public education system provided a better chance to succeed in collage. (Walking to school in three feet of snow also helped with a little reality.)

WilburNether 3 years, 4 months ago

What a shoddy piece of "journalism." The key sentence, which is not played up in the headline or the opening, tone-setting paragraphs, is, "The elimination of teacher positions coincides with cuts to school funding." C-O-I-N-C-I-D-E-S. Not cause-and-effect, but coincides. The schools have plenty of money. Their problem is that educrats seem to be congenitally incapable of distinguishing between what is nice to have, and what is essential. Focus on the essentials, people, and the schools will be fine.

Bryan Anderson 3 years, 4 months ago

Coincides is not the right word. Instead the phrase "coincides with" should be replaced with "is a direct result of".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 4 months ago

"Their problem is that educrats seem to be congenitally incapable of distinguishing between what is nice to have, and what is essential."

Not disagreeing with you, but could you give us some examples of what you're referring to?

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes, because punishing children for being born to poor parents is the American way. I can hear the Star Spangled Banner playing every time I read your post. No wait, I think it might have actually been the soundtrack to Oliver!.

question4u 3 years, 4 months ago

"Government schools should charge tuition."

Wow! What country benefits from increasing its numbers of uneducated citizens? What businesses benefit from a less-educated work force? What countries are better able to compete internationally by restricting their citizens' access to education?

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 4 months ago

Another example of the cultural revolution the GOP has brought us in their Great Leap Backward.

mloburgio 3 years, 4 months ago

Privatizing Public Education, Higher Ed Policy, and Teachers Increasing Profits for School Companies, Undermining Teachers, and Promoting "Conservatives" on Campus This page reveals how ALEC bills would privatize public education, crush teacher's unions, and push American universities to the right. Among other things, these bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds. Through ALEC, corporations have both a VOICE and a VOTE on specific state laws to change the American education system. Do you? ALEC Exposed http://alecexposed.org/wiki/Privatizing_Public_Education,_Higher_Ed_Policy,_and_Teachers

wastewatcher 3 years, 4 months ago

Why not some real analysis? What is the historical pupil - teacher ratio, what is the current ratio and what is the appropriate ratio? Also what is the ratios nationally and in other states? Then compare the ratios to student achievement and success in order to draw logical conclusions.

soullessginger 3 years, 4 months ago

Cutting the funding for schools, that is one of dumbest ideas I've ever heard. People wonder why we don't go on to get decent paying jobs or sometimes even jobs at all, it's because we can't. We don't receive good enough education to go on and get a decent paying job one that can support us through college or to raise and support a family. Cutting school funding is making school reduce the number of teachers we receive, but as we do that we also start to get more students and those students are being punished because of these cuts. Those students suffer by not getting the attention we deserve and need. So I believe instead of cutting school funding find other things that we don't need and cut those, don't cut the education of your soon to be work force.

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