In annual advocacy tour, KASB leaders tout efficiency of Kansas schools

KASB’s Mark Tallman presented to members of the Shawnee Mission School Board and other district officials — as well as several area legislators — Thursday.

Kansas’s public education system continues to produce outcomes far better than many states that spend much more per pupil, said representatives of the Kansas Association of School Boards Thursday.

Each summer, KASB leaders tour Kansas and highlight the state of public education here. In a presentation at the Shawnee Mission School District’s Center for Academic Achievement, KASB associate executive director Mark Tallman told a group of Shawnee Mission board members, administrators and legislators representing the area that Kansas continues to generate above-average outcomes while spending less than average per pupil.

KASB’s Comparing Kansas report ranked all 50 states on a scale that takes 15 educational outcomes — including graduation rates, college entrance exam scores, and National Assessment of Education Progress benchmarks — into account. Those rankings found that Kansas came in 10th among the 50 states in outcomes. No state in the top 10 spent less per pupil than Kansas.

Meanwhile, Kansas’s spending rate of $12,055 per pupil puts it at 31st out of the 50 states.

Among other highlights from the KASB presentation:

Kansas educational attainment has improved to an all time high, with more than 30 percent of all adults 25 and older now holding a four-year college degree. In recent years, though, the percent of Kansans who hold four-year degrees has fallen behind the U.S. average for the first time since the 1950s.

Demographic shifts are being seen across the state. The number of white students enrolled in Kansas public schools has been steadily declining since 1993. At the same time, the number of black students has remained about the same, and the number of Hispanic students has risen steadily. Schools have also seen a marked increase in multi-ethnic students and students from other backgrounds.

The percent of Kansas income that goes to the K-12 system has hovered around 4.5 percent since 1990, despite all of the changes to school funding levels and the funding formula.

The booklet summarizing KASB’s major points is embedded below:

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