KASB Advocacy Blog - Mark Tallman

KASB Advocacy Blog - Mark Tallman

School Finance Questions: How have Kansas teacher salaries compared to inflation?

As the Kansas Legislature considers its response to the Gannon school finance decision, KASB is responding to questions about school funding. Today, how have Kansas teacher salaries compared to inflation? As the chart above shows, following increased state education funding, the average Kansas teacher salary has increased more than inflation for the each of the past two years - the first time that has happened since 2007. However, the average salary remains more than $3,000 lower than 2009 when adjusted for inflation. Why does it matter? Kansas school districts compete with other states and other employers for teachers and other school [...]

Read more...

School leaders’ goals for Kansas students: happy, fulfilled, giving and prepared for employment

What do Kansans want for their children? Commissioner of Education Randy Watson and Deputy Commissioner Brad Neuenswander told 600 educators at the Kansans Can and Do Symposium Tuesday that the State Board of Education tried to sum it up as follows: they want kids to be happy, have a sense of fulfillment, give back to others and have at least two educational credentials: a high school diploma and a postsecondary degree or certificate that allows them to earn a middle class living. Those goals are embodied in the State Board’s Kansans Can outcomes, which call on all school districts to raise [...]

Read more...

Messages for legislators at Turnaround Break

The 2019 Legislature has reached its first major deadline: most bills are supposed to be passed by the first house and sent to the second house, called “Turnaround.” When the Legislature returns next Wednesday after a short break, it will be one month until the regular session adjourns. School leaders may be wondering what they should be saying to legislators at this point, especially if they see them at home over the break. Here are some thoughts. First, when does the Legislature need to act? The clock is still ticking on the Kansas Supreme Court order to finally resolve the Gannon [...]

Read more...

ACT sign-ups surge as state pays for test

Last year’s action by the Kansas Legislature to allow every Kansas high school student to take the ACT test once at no cost appears to be paying off – 30 percent more students have signed up for the test this year than took the test last year. Over 32,000 high school students signed up for the ACT test this year, although many districts cancelled school due to weather last week for the first administration. A make-up date will be offered later this Spring. Last year, about 25,000 students took the test. In addition, nearly 16,600 students also signed up for the [...]

Read more...

Revised data on school teacher and administrator salaries

This post contains corrected information from an earlier post. As the Kansas Legislature considers its response to the Gannon school decision, KASB is receiving questions from legislators, the media and others about aspects of education. One is how increases in teacher salaries have compared to administrator salaries. In a post earlier this week, I included a chart showing that average teacher salaries had increased about 4.0 percent more than superintendents between 2005 and 2018. I based this on Kansas State Department of Education summary tables that for teacher, superintendents and principals. However, it was pointed that these annual tables have actual teacher [...]

Read more...

Mistake in salary comparison post

Yesterday, a Tallman Education Report was posted comparing changes in average Kansas teacher, principal and superintendent salaries, showing that teachers had received a higher percentage salary increase between 2005 and 2018.   It was pointed out that this data from the Kansas State Department of Education used “contracted” average salaries for superintendents and principals, compared to actual teacher salary data. On separate KSDE reports, the actual average superintendent salary was higher than the contracted amount and would exceed teacher salaries by 1.5 percent between 2005 and 2018.  The actual average principal salary appears to be lower than in 2018 and 2019 than in [...]

Read more...

School finance, KPERS funding and the state general fund budget

We often hear concerns that K-12 education takes up half of the state general fund budget; that this level of funding is not sustainable, and that K-12 aid - partially in response to school finance lawsuits - is crowding out funding for other programs. Actually, K-12 funding has been about 50 percent of the SGF since the 1990's. In fact, the main school finance programs - general or base state aid, special education aid, equalization aid for local option budgets and capital outlay - has actually been declining as a share of the state general fund. However, the school portion [...]

Read more...

Five reasons to support the State Board and Governor’s school finance proposal (SB 44 and HB 2978)

The Senate Select Committee on Education Finance is scheduled to hold hearings this week on SB 44, which was introduced as Governor Laura Kelly's K-12 funding proposal. Here is KASB's statement: The Kansas Association of School Boards supports SB 44 because we believe it offers a real chance to finally resolve the current school finance litigation and to restore Kansas school funding to levels necessary for more students to be successful in K-12, in postsecondary education and the workforce, and help Kansas compete with other states. We believe addressing this final step should be the top priority of the 2019 [...]

Read more...

Details of Governor’s K-12 education budget proposal to end the Gannon school finance case

There have been many questions about the Kansas State Board of Education’s proposal for an “inflation adjustment” that the Kansas Supreme Court said was necessary to approve the Legislature’s plan to restore constitutionally suitable funding. The court said the Legislature's increased school funding in 2018 and 2019 and a plan to further increase funding from 2020 to 2023 comes close to reaching inflation-adjusted 2009 funding levels, when the finance system was considered constitutional based on the Montoy school finance settlement. However, the court said a further adjustment for inflation was needed as the plan is phased in. The adjustment proposed [...]

Read more...

KASB estimates show Governor Kelly’s K-12 funding plan would bring school budgets close to inflation-adjusted 2009 levels

Governor Laura Kelly’s proposed budget for K-12 education is designed to settle the Gannon school finance lawsuit by restoring school district general fund budgets to constitutionally-approved levels in 2009, adjusted for inflation. It appears the Governor’s proposal would allow total general operating budgets, including local option budgets, to be close to that level in 2023, depending on actual inflation rates. Anything short of that amount would leave districts farther below the mark. Last session, the Legislature passed a five-year (2019 to 2023) plan designed to restore base or foundational funding to the approved base state aid amount in 2009, under [...]

Read more...