School Efficiency Task Force issues 12 recommendations
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
5:07 PM CST, January 21, 2013
Governor Sam Brownback's School Efficiency Task Force issues its final recommendations for how they believe Kansas can get more funding into classrooms.
The task force was formed last year to analyze education funding, examine how to spend it more efficiently, and research how to save money in the classroom. Democrats criticized the task force when it was first announced saying it does not include teachers or administrators.
Here are the 12 recommendations made by the task force:
- Establish a statutorily-required 2-year school funding cycle.
- Place a priority emphasis on the timely transfer of state payments to school districts in June and January.
- Conduct a study to reevaluate the state’s open-ended obligation to equalization of school construction bond issues to provide the state with better visibility from a budgeting perspective
- Conduct a study on implementing a state data management and accounting system that is integrated with K-12 school systems and post-secondary institutions for streamlined educational reporting of data flow/administrative processes.
- Restructure the operating parameters associated with the Capital Outlay Fund
- Revise/narrow the Professional Negotiations Act to prevent it from hindering operational flexibility/resource assignment.
- Legislatively eliminate, reduce, and consolidate the statutory cash reserve accounts and separate fund accounts that currently exist, thereby ending the “use-it-or-lose-it” policy and allowing the funding contained in each fund category to be more broadly spent across the full variety of educational requirements. Accounts that remain, including the General Fund, should be allowed a modest amount of carryover from year to year.
- Authorize a study of school district administration personnel structures and positions. Develop a state plan for district-level administrative reorganization and alignment:
- Require that a university level finance/accounting/budget management course be included in the district leadership licensing requirements, if not already included.
- Form a task force of education, finance, and legislative members to establish a commonly-accepted definition of “instruction” spending and review the 65% public policy goal figure.
- Place a limitation on duration of due process proceedings for special education hearings.
- Conduct an efficiency study/audit of the Kansas State Department of Education.
Governor Brownback says he looks forward to working with legislators, parents, teachers and administrators to put the recommendations into practice.
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