Kansas Association of School Boards

In Kansas, education is all about money and politics for UMEEA

In Kansas, education is all about money and politics for UMEEA

From Kansas Policy Institute. Education is all about money and politics for UMEEA By Dave Trabert Media reaction to the school finance legislation has been pretty predictable. It focuses almost exclusively on institutions and ignores the impact on students. As usual, it's all about money and politics. Unions, media and their allies in the education establishment (UMEEA) oppose tax credit scholarships for low income students. They rail against taxpayer money going to private schools and how that might mean a little less money for public institutions but ignore the very real purpose and need for the program. (FYI, the scholarship…
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In Kansas, the Blob is worked up

In Kansas, the Blob is worked up

"Education reformers have a name for the resistance: the education 'Blob.' The Blob includes the teachers unions, but also janitors and principals unions, school boards, PTA bureaucrats, local politicians and so on." (John Stossel, The Blob That Ate Children.) In Kansas, we're seeing the Blob at full activation, vigorously protecting its interests. The source of the Blob's consternation is a bill in the Kansas Legislature that would add charter schools and tax credit scholarships to the educational landscape in Kansas. (Kansas does have charter schools at present, but the law is so stacked in favor of the Blob's interests that…
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Kansas education topic on ‘This Week in Kansas’

Kansas education issues were a topic on a recent segment of KAKE TV "This Week in Kansas." Opening the show, Representative Jim Ward made a small but potentially consequential mistake when he said the "legislature has violated their constitutional duty to provide for an adequate or sufficient education." The Kansas Constitution actually says this in Article 6, Section 6(b): "The legislature shall make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state." It's too bad that the Kansas Constitution doesn't mandate that the state provide an "adequate or sufficient" education, as that would provide the basis for a…
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Kansas Association of School Boards: Putting institutions and money before individual students

From Kansas Policy Institute. Kansas Association of School Boards: Putting institutions and money before individual students By Dave Trabert There is no question that many students receive a fine public education and go on to success in college or career, but there is also no question that thousands of students are left behind every year. Continuing to pour money into the current broken system -- whether ordered to so by courts or by choice -- will not close the large achievement gaps that exist for students of color and those from low-income families. Yet institutional demands for more money continue to…
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Why are Kansas school standards so low?

At a time when Kansas was spending more on schools due to an order from the Kansas Supreme Court, the state lowered its already low standards for schools. This is the conclusion of the National Center for Education Statistics, based on the most recent version of Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto the NAEP Scales. NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations, and is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. The mapping project establishes a relationship between the tests each state…
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Let’s just ignore this Kansas school spending

The reaction to a survey regarding Kansas school spending is useful for two reasons: It lets us gauge the level of knowledge of the public, and it also tells us the extent to which school spending advocates will go to justify and excuse spending. The latest example comes from Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB). It's in response to a survey commissioned by Kansas Policy Institute which asked the public a series of questions on schools and spending. (See Citizens generally misinformed on Kansas school spending.) A key finding is that most people think that schools spend much less than…
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Kansas school spending excused

Kansas public school teachers and the education bureaucracy want taxpayers to trust them as a reliable source for facts about Kansas schools. But the record doesn't inspire trust. At a recent meeting of the South-Central Kansas Legislative Delegation with citizens, teachers jeered when a legislator cited the spending numbers for USD 259, the Wichita public school district. A comment left to a KAKE TV news story claims that spending numbers presented by the legislator are "misrepresented," because he included every single dollar. In fact, the numbers presented were correct, as explained in In Kansas, don’t mention the level of school…
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Winners and losers in Kansas school finance lawsuit

Who are the winners and losers now that the decision in Gannon vs. Kansas -- better known as the Kansas school finance lawsuit -- has been reached? The decision reached by the court is that Kansas schools are unconstitutionally underfunded. While it is most commonly reported that the decision requires Kansas to spend an additional $440 million per year on schools, the actual amount of increased spending will be $594 million per year. This is because of the mechanism of the local option budget, according to Kansas Policy Institute. The decision is being appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court. The…
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Ignore this Kansas school spending, please

The reaction to a survey regarding Kansas school spending is useful for two reasons: It lets us gauge the level of knowledge of the public, and it also tells us the extent to which school spending advocates will go to justify and excuse spending. The latest example comes from Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB). It's in response to a survey commissioned by Kansas Policy Institute which asked the public a series of questions on schools and spending. (See Citizens generally misinformed on Kansas school spending.) A key finding is that most people think that schools spend much less than…
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