Published Online: March 31, 2015
Published in Print: April 1, 2015, as Bill Would Tie Kansas School Funding to Post-Graduation Success

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Bill Would Tie Kansas School Funding to Post-Graduation Success

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A proposal for a new school finance formula in Kansas would link school funding to the success of students after graduation.

The legislation, Senate Bill 294, would tie part of districts' funding to the number of graduates enrolled in college or working in jobs where they earn an income above a certain threshold.

Districts would receive success ratings based on the number of graduates who had earned an industry certification, completed basic military training, enrolled in a third consecutive semester at a college, or worked at a job earning an income of at least 250 percent of the poverty level. That would be $29,425 now.

Sen. Steve Abrams, who chairs the Senate education committee and previously served on the state board of education, said the bill he introduced would link educational funding to real-world outcomes.

"State assessments, which now are used to measure educational success, are not as effective a measurement as real-world outcomes, he said. "Well, when's the last time you guys applied for a job and the employer said, 'What'd you do on the state assessment?' " he asked.

Districts' success ratings would also be weighted against their poverty rate and enrollment.

That means, for example, that the Kansas City, Kan., district, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the state, could receive $32 million in success aid compared with $14 million for the Blue Valley district, which has a higher success rate but one of the lowest poverty rates in the state, according to the Kansas Association of School Boards.

Vol. 34, Issue 26, Page 4

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