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Committee Continues Studying Education Funding

A special committee in the Kansas Legislature continued talks on school funding Thursday in Topeka.

Ben Scafidi is with a group that promotes school choice. He told the committee that the number of administrators in public schools has grown at a faster rate than the student population. He said if the two had grown at the same rate, the state of Kansas could have saved hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

“Another thing you could have done with that money is give every teacher in Kansas approximately a $10,000 raise,” Scafidi said.

But Representative Ed Trimmer, a Winfield Democrat, said that's not accurate. Trimmer said part of the growth in staff came from hiring federally mandated workers to assist special needs students.

“It’s a little disingenuous to say ‘look at this, we could have paid teachers $10,000 more.’ In reality, we couldn’t have done that,” Trimmer said.

The committee is studying education spending in Kansas in advance of the next legislative session, which begins in January.