The Fine Art of Inequitable School Finance Policy

One area of school finance about which I’ve written  quite a bit is what I refer to as the “tricks of the trade” in state aid allocation formulas. Most people who study or observe state school funding policies, including popular media outlets like Education Week tend to make the automatic assumption that increased state effortContinue reading “The Fine Art of Inequitable School Finance Policy”

Kansas Constitution – Consolidation and School Finance

I feel compelled to provide this brief historical note regarding consolidation of school districts in Kansas and questions over the court’s authority to use Article 6, Section 6 of the Kansas constitution as a basis for compelling the legislature to “make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state.” You see, thatContinue reading “Kansas Constitution – Consolidation and School Finance”

Those darn overpaid NJ teachers sucking the life out of the lagging economy

I start this entry with a graph. We’ve all been hearing about the rough economic times and troubled state budgets. And, in New Jersey we’ve been hearing about how public employees should take the hit, just like private sector employees. At least some media outlets love to to toss around the bombastic rhetoric about howContinue reading “Those darn overpaid NJ teachers sucking the life out of the lagging economy”

Consolidation and the Costs of Public School Systems

When budgets get tight across states, legislatures try to figure out where they are going to find savings… as fast as possible.  One idea that resurfaces now and then is  consolidation of school districts and/or other layers of government within states, where some of those layers draw on state resources – especially schools. The issueContinue reading “Consolidation and the Costs of Public School Systems”

Who needs that other 35% anyway?

This particular article in the Lawrence Journal World includes a quote by a legislative leader that perpetuates one of the standard myths of education funding – that somehow, any funding that is not “going to the classroom” is necessarily wasteful funding. This argument relates back to a “movement” of a few years ago inContinue reading “Who needs that other 35% anyway?”

Education Week Grading System Gets a Failing Grade

It’s that time of year again. Time for Education Week Quality Counts to grade the states on a number of education policy issues – ranging from accountability systems to school finance systems. But, once again, Education Week’s Quality Counts ratings of state school finance policies simply lack understanding of the goals of today’s state schoolContinue reading “Education Week Grading System Gets a Failing Grade”

Executive Compensation in Public and Private Schools

Superintendents of public school systems are an easy target when it comes to their compensation packages. It is easy to create public outcry simply by making out-of-context comments about superintendents’ whopping “six figure” salaries.  The past year has finally seen some similar outcry regarding exorbitant executive compensation in “private” sector industries which have also soughtContinue reading “Executive Compensation in Public and Private Schools”