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Brownback: KS school funding formula is outdated

Posted: 9:03 AM, Sep 15, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-15 14:03:35Z

The governor says the old funding formula was outdated, noting it hadn’t been addressed “in whole” for 22 years.

He said the education budget is now over $4 billion.

“It's time to take a good look at the thing. That's what the legislature is going to do,” he said.

The governor referenced the current block grant for districts, which he says will fund education for this year and next, and by then he hopes to have a new formula. Brownback has said many times that he wants more money in the classroom and less going toward administrative costs.

“By statute, two-thirds of the money is supposed to get into the classroom, and yet by measurement, we're somewhere in the mid-50s to high 50s,” he said.

The governor also talked about merit pay – paying teachers for good performance or results.

RELATED |  In AP interview, Gov. Brownback links merit pay, school aid

“Several states are doing merit pay," Brownback said. "But several have concerns that if you just base it on test scores, "Is that really fair to the teachers?'" 

"A number of them say, 'Let's look at the progress of the student, or on a series of factors,' so we're going to look at all of those. And we'll look at multiple states," he said. 

When asked if has a state he thinks has had success with merit pay where we might look at an example, he said he didn’t have one in mind.

So, what about teachers who wouldn’t want to work with lower performing students, as those students could potentially affect the teachers' merit pay? Or what about competition amongst teachers?

WATCH | Gov. Brownback talks merit pay for teachers

(If you can't view the video on your mobile app, click here.

“It’s probably a gimmick to try and convey to the public that he wants to pay teachers more. Well, we know there’s not enough money to fund schools or they should properly be funded. And the question again is which teachers does he want to give a raise to? And how are you going to determine that?” said NEA Shawnee Mission President, Linda Sieck. 

“I think those are legitimate things to raise. But if you measure it by the progress of the student and not by a total test score, I think there's a way you can take that into consideration," Brownback said. "Plus. other places have done this and other systems... how do you give more pay to people are higher performing? This is a common issue.”

"Whether it's in the public sector or the private sector. mostly in the private sector you see this, but they've been able to figure out how you get those systems in place and I think really we need to, too," said Brownback. 

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