Thursday, February 16, 2006

School finance

Sebelius: State won’t adopt school study:
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday told a gathering of local school officials that the state won’t adopt a recent school cost-study that calls for at least a $400 million increase in school funding.

“The Legislative Post-Audit study, I think, is helpful,” Sebelius told a meeting of school board members from across the state.

But Sebelius added, “I don’t think anybody sees the Post-Audit study being the formula that will ultimately be decided upon.”
There have now been two different studies each revealing that schools are under-funded, and the latest at least shows that the urban districts are especially poorly funded. The State simply cannot ignore these studies and declare that funding which fails to meet obligations is adequate. It won't cut it. If they want to ramp up to it, that makes sense. If they want to find ways of ensuring that the money is spent in ways that improve educational outcomes, that makes sense. It means interfering with local control, but maybe that isn't the end of the world.

But to simply ignore two independent analyses which each show that achieving the goals that the state has set for educational accomplishment will cost more money is not realistic.

In vaguely related news, the bill to treat some Kansas high school graduates as non-residents for state university purposes has died for now. Good. These are people who have lived in the state for many years, came to this country without any say in the matter, and are seeking citizenship. They've lived in the state for a long time, and the citizenship process is incredibly drawn out. We shouldn't penalize people because of our nation's immigration bureaucracy.