Kansas State Department of Education

Public school experts

Public school experts

Do only those within the Kansas public schooling community have a say? In a letter to the Wichita Eagle, a longtime educator asks "Just how much confidence in the schooling community should taxpayers embrace?"[1. John H. Wilson. Trust judgment of school educators. Wichita Eagle, October 6, 2016. Available here.] The answer should be: Some. The author's primary topic in this letter was school funding. He writes that public school educators are best qualified to decide school funding issues, and we should trust their judgment. The problem is that public school educators have a self-interest in this matter that goes beyond…
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School choice and funding

School choice and funding

Opponents of school choice programs argue the programs harm traditional public schools, both financially and in their ability to serve their remaining students. Evidence does not support this position. The prevalent argument is that charter schools and other school choice programs drain funds from public schools. That is, if a public school student chooses to attend a charter or private school, and if the money follows the student to the other school, the public school district loses money that it otherwise would have received. Therefore, the public school district is worse off, and so too are its students. A rebuttal…
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VIDEO: KPERS payments and Kansas schools

VIDEO: KPERS payments and Kansas schools

There is a claim that a recent change in the handling of KPERS payments falsely inflates school spending. The Kansas State Department of Education says otherwise. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Click here for more about this topic.
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School staffing and students

School staffing and students

Trends for the nation and each state in teachers, administrators, and students, presented in an interactive visualization. Each year states report data to the National Center for Education Statistics. While NCES provides methods for extracting data, it isn't an easy process, and opportunities to produce charts are limited. Here I present trends in teachers, administrators, and students for each state from 1998 to the school year ending in summer 2014, the most recent year of data that is available. For each state, the charts show the growth in teachers, administrators, and students. For both teachers and students, the value used…
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Kansas government ‘hollowed-out’

Kansas government ‘hollowed-out’

Is Kansas government "hollowed-out" even though spending is rising? In the Wichita Eagle, Burdett Loomis writes: "In 2011, Gov. Sam Brownback and a far-right Kansas House of Representatives began to hollow out state government, all in the name of smaller, more efficient, more private administration."[1. Loomis, Burdett. Kansas is becoming a hollowed-out state. Wichita Eagle, July 9, 2016. Available at www.kansas.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article88555862.html.] Loomis doesn't define what he means by "hollow out" but the measure of the size of government is spending. Not taxation, but spending, because if government spends without taxing by the same amount, someone has to pay, eventually. Or,…
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