Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Specific ways school districts will use additional funding to improve student success.

This post is from a report on school finance released by KASB as the Kansas Legislature works to develop a new school finance plan in compliance with the Kansas Supreme Court decision on adequate funding. Today: how increased funding would be used to improve student success.

Although each district’s needs and circumstances will be different, the general uses of new funding is clear, based on conversations KASB held with school leaders this year and how districts used additional resources after Montoy decision. Targets for new funding would likely include:

Add/restore positions to keep low class size and improve services

Restore certified (mostly teacher) positions reduced since 2009;
1,000 times average teacher salary of $55,454 $55.6 million

Restore non-certified positions (aide, para, etc.) reduced since 2009;
1,000 FTE positions times estimated salary of $35,000 $35.0 million

Expand preschool to meet State Board goal of kindergarten readiness

Double pre-K teachers to double preschool enrollment;
580 positions times average teacher salary of $55,454 $32.2 million

Increase services to meet career planning and social/emotional needs
Increase school counselor and social worker positions (currently
approximately 1,500) by 50 percent; 750 positions times average
teacher salary of $55,454 $41.6 million

Add services for students not meeting standards

Provide intensive services to students below grade level in reading or math
(such as Reading Roadmap) at average cost of $1,000 per student
to all students below grade level (25% x 462,595 = 115,649) $115.7 million

Provide intensive services to students below college ready at average cost
of $1,000 per student (38% x 462,595 = $175.8) $175.8 million

Provide Jobs for America’s Graduates services (or similar) at average
cost of $1,230 for 40 percent of students grades 9-12 based on risk
factors (56,000) $68.8 million

Restore salary levels to keep Kansas school positions competitive

Inflationary adjustment for teacher salaries 2009 to 2016
Average teacher salary in 2009: $52,712 times inflation increase
of 11.9% Equals $58,985 minus 2016 actual of $55,454 ($3,531)
x 35,882 teachers $127 million

Comparable increase for all other district staff members $127 million

Total funding increase: $778.7 million

Other benefits of increased funding:

With higher salaries, increase school year for students, which has been reduced by approximately one week as districts negotiated fewer days under limited salary increases.

Reduce student fees, which have increased significantly in some districts for activities, early childhood and transportation.

Reduce property tax reliance, which has increased as districts used more local option budget funding with frozen base state aid.

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