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Kansas Efficiency Study Says Cut Back School District Savings Accounts

House Appropriations Chairman Ron Ryckman. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)
House Appropriations Chairman Ron Ryckman. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

An efficiency study says the state of Kansas could save money by requiring school districts to spend down their cash reserves. That’s an idea some conservatives have been pushing in recent years. The report recommends district savings accounts be limited to 15 percent of their annual budgets.

Republican Representative Ron Ryckman says this provides a range lawmakers can consider.

“I think we’ve been all over the place. In years past we said you need to build up reserves. Then we said hold on, you have too many reserves. If nothing else, this will provide stability,” says Ryckman.

Mark Tallman, with the Kansas Association of School Boards, says schools have kept reserves as a way to help weather financial troubles.

“I don’t think any districts just want to sit on money, but we’ve been through a period of great uncertainty financially in this state going back really to the Great Recession,” says Tallman.

The efficiency study includes around 100 recommendations that the firm Alvarez and Marsal says could save the state $2 billion over five years.

Stephen Koranda is KPR's Statehouse reporter.