Claims that Base State Aid Per-Pupil (BSAPP) has been cut back to 1990s levels are
quite deceptive, as they ignore how state funding of schools has significantly changed
over the years. At one point, nearly all programs were funded out of BSAPP,
but subsequent years have seen more money added on top of BSAPP for services that
previously came out of the base.
Since student populations vary widely some districts receive additional money through
‘weightings’ on top of BSAPP ("At Risk, Bilingual, etc). Quite
a few ‘weightings’ have been added or expanded over the years, with
the effect of reducing stress on BSAPP. A full list of the weightings, their
respective values and the
complete formula is available on KansasOpenGov.
The adjacent table demonstrates how those weightings and other state aid have changed.
In 1998, there was only $178 per-pupil in addition to BSAPP, KPERS and Bond aid.
This year’s estimate is more than 10 times that amount.
It is correct to say BSAPP has remained relatively unchanged since the late 1990s,
but that leaves out an increasingly large portion of State K-12 funding. In
1998, BSAPP accounted for nearly all of State funding of Education (91%) while today
BSAPP has been supplemented by allotments made via ‘weightings’ and
now accounts for only 55% of State funding of education.
The only way to fairly compare the change in BSAPP over the years would be to deduct
those items that once were paid out of the base but are now in supplemental funds
(or vice versa; increase BSAPP each year on the same basis).