October 2016 Notes from the Superintendent
Funding and Achievement: A National Perspective
In the education world, it is very easy to get caught up in your own little world. After all, meeting the diverse needs of all our students can take an extraordinary amount of time, effort and energy. Teachers and Principals must focus on: individual instruction, IEP’s, technology, emotional growth, student activities and even head lice. At the district level, we are often able to step back a little and also look at the state perspective. How do our assessments measure up on the state level? How will our state’s growing budget hole effect our funding? What new regulations and mandates are we looking at this year? However, we very rarely get the opportunity to look at K-12 Education from a national perspective and compare ourselves to our peers (the individuals our students will be competing with in college and in the work force).
Linked below is a good article on K-12 funding from the “Center on Budget and Policy Priorities”. This article does a nice job of comparing our (KS) commitment to education to the rest of the nation.
The article includes this very telling graph, showing we (KS) have had the fourth largest cut in the nation, per pupil, since 2008.
Linked below is the “Educational Achievement Report” from the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB), focusing on student achievement of each state. Kansas is still a very high achieving state, but we are slipping down the ranks a little each year.
The most telling chart is probably this one showing that Kansas, currently 10th in the nation in student achievement, spending far less than each of the 9 states ahead of us.
As we continue to work toward meeting the diverse needs of our students, we must also take the time to look at education on both the state and national level. Not only must we discuss the growing deficit on the state level, potential mid-year cuts and the ongoing Court Case (Gannon). We must also continue to look at and understand K-12 funding and achievement around the nation and continue to evaluate our priorities.
Superintendent of Schools
USD 286, Chautauqua Co.