Despite her year of campaigning for Obama, Kansas’s Democratic governor, Kathleen Sebelius, apparently came up empty-handed in trying to win a ticket out of Topeka. That means she’ll have to stay home and deal with a deficit that’s growing like, uh, wheat. In a little over a year, the state will face a $1 billion shortfall, a financial catastrophe that stems in large part from the activist state Supreme Court forcing a huge education funding plan on the Legislature back in 2005. Sebelius and the justices on the court are BFF. I wrote about it here.
In the first study to measure the result of pouring all that money on the noggins of schoolkids, the University of Kansas’s Center for Applied Economics has released a study poetically entitled, “The Relationship between School Funding and Student Achievement in Kansas Public Schools.” The verdict? So far, the funding has produced “little evidence of improving student outcomes as measured by test scores.”
The AP and the local press, which originally covered the education funding fight as a conservative campaign to shut down schools, starve the poor and spread smallpox in blankets, haven’t quite managed to cover the study yet. Lots of little numbers, etc.