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"It will take a long time to wade through the 139-page ruling, but even a cursory examination makes it clear that the three-judge panel didn’t let the facts get in the way of their decision. Instead, they made what amounts to a political decision that says the Legislature must increase funding by at least $548 million to meet the Rose standards even though school districts don’t know how to measure those standards." http://kansaspolicy.org/KPIBlog/124008.aspx


Kansas school funding decision ignores facts in arriving at a political decision
www.kansaspolicy.org
Today’s ruling on Gannon v. State of Kansas in which the Shawnee County District Court declared school funding to be unconstitutionally low ignores a long list of facts that disprove school districts’ contentions.  The three-judge panel ma
Wed, 31 Dec 2014 17:14:11 +0000
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KPI president Dave Trabert on today's ruling in the on-going school finance litigation, "This ruling willfully ignores a long list of facts that disprove school districts' contentions. The judges may even have ignored the State Supreme Court's order that adequacy is to be determined on whether outcomes - as defined by the Rose capacities - are being met. The judges essentially dusted off their original decision that was rejected by the Supreme Court and added some new legal jargon attempting to justify their original action in arriving at what is little more than a political decision."

Stay tuned for more analysis...
Tue, 30 Dec 2014 20:26:35 +0000
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Gov't can provide quality service while saving taxpayers money.


A plan for balancing the Kansas state budget

Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert presents KPI's plan to balance the state's budget without service reductions or tax increases. Trabert spoke a...
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:34:52 +0000
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Kansas Senate Putting Politics Above Prudence
Posted by Dave Trabert on Wednesday, April 25, 2012
School districts, and now newspaper editorials, see today's KC Star, only want to talk about base state aid when it comes to discussions about K-12 finance in Kansas. However, base state aid is only about 30% of this year's estimated total funding.

Here are some facts that are conveniently ignored in too many discussions of school funding. Every fact below comes from the Kansas Dept. Of Education; Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis provided the 2012 estimates to KPI last November.

Total spending in 2012 is predicted to be $5.672 billion and set a record. State aid is set to account for $3.157 billion, at $6,931 per-pupil. That is more than double base state aid.

While there have been recent declines in state aid, they have been grossly overstated. 2012 aid is only 4% below the 2009 peak but is 34% higher than in 2005.

A good portion of these increases have gone directly to Instructional spending, as defined by the state. In fact, that number has increased 87% between 1999 and 2011 and more than double the combined rates of inflation (32%) and FTE enrollment (1%).

At the same time spending has increased, current operating cash reserves (excluding capital outlay, federal and bond payment funds) have increased to a record-high $868 million at the beginning of this year. That’s 90% more than was in those accounts in 2005. The balances increased more than $400 million as state and local tax dollars were not spent.

Some level of reserves is appropriate, but districts had no cash flow problems when they had $500 million in reserves. They could and should spend some of that money left over from prior years while still operating responsibly.

If the Senate gets their way and spends $74 million it would reduce the State’s ending balance. How is it logical for the State to spend reserves but not school districts, especially since districts' reserves are far greater than the State's?

The Senate plan is not logical...or prudent. It is political.
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