The Efficiency Smokescreen, “Cuts Cause no Harm” Argument & The 3 Kansas Judges who Saw Right Through It!

State school finance litigation is a tedious – often annoying –politically charged process.  Often, school finance litigation involves extensive debate over tedious statistical and other details underlying estimates of how much is should cost for states to meet their constitutional obligations. Too often, it seems, these debates over tedious statistical details serve to distract theContinue reading “The Efficiency Smokescreen, “Cuts Cause no Harm” Argument & The 3 Kansas Judges who Saw Right Through It!”

Do School Finance Reforms Make Any Difference?

Well… here’s what a number of reasonably strong empirical studies have shown… •   David Card & A. Abigail Payne, School Finance Reform, The Distribution of School Spending, and the Distribution of Student Test Scores, 83 J. Pub. Econ. 49 (2002) –    Using micro samples of SAT scores from this same period, we then test whetherContinue reading “Do School Finance Reforms Make Any Difference?”

Another Lame Attempt by KS Legislators to Screw High Poverty Districts!

I’ve gotta give them some credit. The Kansas Legislature is getting more creative and arguably a little better at math over the years. But, the primary objective remains the same – find some way… any way… blatant or more preferably deceitful… to redirect funding allocated for higher poverty larger town and urban school districts toContinue reading “Another Lame Attempt by KS Legislators to Screw High Poverty Districts!”

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”

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”

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”

KS Liberty revisionist history…

The same KansasLiberty article I addressed yesterday also included the following quote: “The court’s only evidence was a discredited school audit that had been dismissed by the Legislature, which had commissioned it, as impractical and dangerously expensive. The audit’s figures had been compiled by asking school administrators how much money they would like to receiveContinue reading “KS Liberty revisionist history…”

Kansas Study Finds Huge Infusion of Cash Didn’t Help Schools

Today, the self-proclaimed non-partisan news outlet KansasLiberty.com reported that a scholar at the University of Kansas Business School has come to the brilliant conclusion that the massive infusion of funding that went into Kansas public schools from 1997 to 2006 has led to no substantive improvements in student outcomes. The author of this report presentsContinue reading “Kansas Study Finds Huge Infusion of Cash Didn’t Help Schools”