A task force looking for ways to make Kansas public schools more efficient has met for the first time. Governor Sam Browback created the task force. The group heard from Dave Trabert (TRAW-bert), with the Kansas Policy Institute, which calls itself a free-market organization promoting a “low-tax, pro-growth environment.” Trabert says schools can be more efficient without hurting student performance. He told the group that the state has increased and cut school funding over recent years, without a significant impact on student achievement.
“Simply spending a little bit less isn't going to have an impact on the out come. Or spending more, we'll show you that.”
But Mark Desetti, with the Kansas National Education Association, doesn’t agree. He pointed to a study from the state’s non-partisan Legislative Division of Post Audit, showing funding does impact student outcomes.
“So if you're spending it on student instruction, on professional development for your teachers, on up-to-date materials and text books and the right technology, it's going to make a difference.”
Members of the task force hope to have recommendations for lawmakers before the next legislative session.