Funding

What’s all the fuss about funding? While throwing money at a problem doesn’t fix it, failing to adequately fund the Kansas public education system will have devastating short and long-term consequences for all Kansans.

Funding cuts in Kansas

Recent studies show that Kansas education funding has not returned to pre-recession levels, despite school funding litigation that has resulted in mandated funding levels.  While we await a decision on the adequacy portion of the Gannon case, it is important to understand that operating budgets for schools have been cut while Kansas schools have seen a 30% increase in the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches and a 10% increase in English Language Learners.  As an example, in response to budget cuts from the state legislature in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12, Shawnee Mission School District

  • Raised the class size cap
  • Eliminated funding for new books in libraries
  • Reduced administrative staff
  • Reduced over 400 employees including regular teaching staff and special education staff, Closed an enhanced learning center and reduced EL staff
  • Raised bus fees
  • Raised full-day kindergarten fees
  • Instituted an activity fee at the high schools
  • Reduced janitorial staffing and reduced classroom cleaning from daily to once every 3 days

What would SMSD do with increased funding?  It would undo many of the recent cuts and it would

  • Develop and implement new academic programs
  • Provide early education programs
  • Raise staff compensation (they have not had a raise since 2009-2010)
  • Hire elementary and middle school counselors
  • Provide adequate technology support
  • Provide social worker support for homeless students

Funding for operating expenses has been cut, and funding does matter.

Further Reading

http://tallmankasb.blogspot.com/2014/08/facts-about-kansas-school-funding-up.html

http://www.swprsc.org/vimages/shared/vnews/stories/52dfe36a3a5e3/K-12%20Education%20Funding%20rev%201-8-14.pdf

http://realprosperityks.com/policy/kansas-education-hole

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=4011

http://tallmankasb.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-is-real-state-of-kansas-school.html

http://www.shankerinstitute.org/images/doesmoneymatter_final.pdf

http://budgetfinance.smsd.org/pages/default.aspx

http://www.smac-pta.com/legislative/content/myth-busters-%E2%80%93-chronic-underfunding-base-state-aid-september-2011-issue-2

http://www.smac-pta.com/legislative/sites/default/files/downloadable/MythBusterSchoolFundingIssue1.pdf

http://www.khi.org/weblogs/budget-blog/2013/mar/05/best-chart-education-spending/

http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=26pkds01u14%3d&tabid=1989&mid=5650

https://www.kasb.org/wcm/_Advocacy_Research/_CapitolUpdates/CapUpdate110212.aspx

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/25/how-grossly-underfunded-are-public-schools/

http://parentsacrossamerica.org/what-we-believe-2/why-class-size-matters/

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/opinion/sunday/17kristof.html?_r=0

http://www.smac-pta.com/legislative/content/myth-busters-%E2%80%93-district-fund-balances-october-2011-issue-3