Education researchers meet with legislators on Gannon school finance study

The school finance consultants hired by Republican legislative leaders to conduct a cost study said Friday that student achievement varies greatly across Kansas school districts and that some of that is because some districts are incorporating best practices. Here is a link to their presentation.

Dr. Lori Taylor, a school finance researcher at Texas A&M University, and Jason Willis, director of strategy and perform with WestEd made a presentation to legislators.

Their completed study, expected to cost $245,000, is due March 15.

Republican leaders commissioned the study to help address the Kansas Supreme Court ruling that the school finance system was inadequate. The court said the Legislature should propose a remedy by April 30.

Much of the presentation by Dr. Taylor and Willis focused on what kind of approaches they were using to determine what would be needed to produce an education system reasonably calculated to achieve the Rose Capacities, which are described as standards that students need to be successful.

Dr. Taylor will also be making a presentation at KASB headquarters, 1420 SW Arrowhead Rd. in Topeka, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday that is open to the public and will also be streamed on KASB’s You Tube channel.

During the presentation, some Democrats criticized Taylor’s previous work in a Texas school finance.

“I predict the out of state expert hired by GOP will recommend less $$$ for poor kids, less $$$ for teaching kids English and a lot more `flexibility’ for individual districts to raise local money without helping other districts to have the same opportunity,” House Minority Leader Jim Ward, D-Wichita, tweeted.

At the outset of her presentation, Taylor defended her work in Texas school finance disputes. “I think I am a very good choice,” to do this study, she said.

Share this post