The President of the Kansas Policy Institute notes that school funding is at record levels once again in Kansas this year.
“The Department of Education has just released an estimate saying that total funding will be over $15,000 per pupil this year,” said KPI President Dave Trabert.
Is more money going to the classroom? Not really, when it comes to a percentage of the budget, according to Trabert.
“Prior to the previous court involvement with Montoy, districts were spending about 54% of their total funding on instruction,” said Trabert. “They’ve actually reduced the allocation to instruction over the years. As a result, not coincidentally, achievement hasn’t changed.”
Trabert believes that in order for achievement to go up, parents have to have choices.
“The House did pass a law last year, it didn’t get over to the Senate, the Senate didn’t consider it, but the House passed a bill, it’s a budget certification bill,” said Trabert. “It simply says that school districts will certify that they will allocate sufficient funds to instruction so that kids can meet the Rose standards. Basically, so they can get to grade level.”
Trabert sees that as a partial solution, but there needs to be the ability for kids to change schools if those achievement goals aren’t being met at the school they are attending.