KS school funding report blows a hole in conservative doctrine

By

Opinion

March 21, 2018 - 4:00 AM

A long-awaited school funding study released Friday in Topeka was expected to endorse the long-held conservative view that there’s no correlation between student performance and the money spent on public schools.

After all, conservative Republican leaders had hand-picked the consultant — Lori Taylor, a Texas A&M University professor — to take a fresh look at Kansas school spending. Democrats and moderate Republicans who back more education spending feared a low-ball recommendation just as lawmakers begin deliberations on a new funding formula.

But in a stunning development, Taylor’s study sent a torpedo into bedrock conservative doctrine, concluding that a link does indeed exist between spending and a student’s educational attainment. She said lawmakers must spend another $1.7 billion over five years to reach performance targets or an additional $2 billion to deliver enhanced educational outcomes.

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