Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Legislature needs remedial math classes

The school funding plan approved by the state legislature has some obvious problems:
the plan fails to meet the price tag rung up by the cost study that was done by the Legislative Division of Post Audit.

That cost study called for a $400 million increase next year, while the Legislature’s three-year proposal would increase funding by $194.5 million next year.

The plan also falls far short of funding what the cost study recommends for programs that serve students who are at risk of failing.

And the study called for $53.8 million to be divided among four urban school districts that have a high proportion of poor students. The new plan allocates $22.7 million and spreads that over 37 school districts.

But House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, said he thought the proposal did a good job of matching up with the study’s goals.

“I don’t think it’s all that far off from the Post Audit,” he said.
For those who recall elementary school math, 194.5 million < 400 million, and 22.7 million < 53.8 million. The legislature managed to approve only half of the increase their own studies say are needed for an adequate education. The legislature is required by law to provide for an adequate education, and is required by the Constitution to provide suitable funding. The Courts have ordered the legislature to fulfill its constitutional obligation, and for the second time, the legislature is passing the buck. It's unacceptable.

Odds are decent that we'll be dealing with this again next year, because the legislature wouldn't just get to work.

Updated: Josh needs a typing class.