December 18, 2014

Knowledge doubled with two education funding task forces

Two task forces, one appointed by the Gov. Sam Brownback and another created by the Kansas Association of School Boards, will study how to create efficiencies in school budgets.
The task forces will hopefully find ways to work together, despite being created almost in opposition of one another.
Gov. Brownback announced he was creating a school efficiency task force a few weeks ago. He named a number of public officials and accounting experts to the 10-person task force.
Critics complained that no educators were tapped to serve on the task force, and rightly so. In response, the KASB created its own committee that will study financing efficiencies. Its 10-person task force is comprised of educators.
Schools absolutely must learn to do more with less – not because we don’t value the education of our children, but because there is no pot of gold at the end of a taxpayer rainbow. The public till is running dry.
Without serious economic growth, there is simply no reasonable way to inflate school coffers without deflating the pockets of job creators.
Added to the equation is the knowledge that increases in school funding don’t necessarily translate into better educational outcomes. The bottom line is school districts are going to continue to be asked to do more with less.
That’s not politics. It’s simple math.
That said, number crunchers probably aren’t the best professionals to determine what educational tools stay and what fat gets cuts. Those in the classrooms are best equipped to prioritize.
Our hope is that these two task forces work together and find some common ground. With the creation of both, Kansans will get the best of both worlds.

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