– Knox County wants even more money?
– Do ALL Kentuckians have a stake here?
In our ‘Why would parents prefer’ series, we’ve been talking about the academic performance of schools in the Knox County and the Corbin Independent School Districts. Knox County recently cancelled a long-standing student transfer agreement with Corbin, which allowed parents in both districts a choice about where to send their students.
So far, we’ve examined Knox and Corbin for (1) high school graduation rates, (2) No Child Left Behind results, (3) ACT tests for 11th grade students, and (4) EXPLORE test results for eighth grade students. On all of those measures, Corbin Independent sharply outperforms Knox County schools.
That was the “bang.” Now, let’s look at how much input – namely “bucks” – each school system gets per child.
Here is the latest available audited data, which comes from the 2007-2008 Receipts and Expenditures report, from the Kentucky Department of Education.
Knox County gets far more money per child than Corbin does. But, clearly, Corbin does a far better “bang for the buck” job with what it receives.
This graph leads to another issue. It may be that every taxpayer in Kentucky has a “dog in this fight.”
Since a lot of the money involved comes from statewide, tax-funded SEEK dollars and from federal tax dollars – all of which Kentuckians across the entire state must pay – why, exactly, would any Kentucky taxpayer want to force kids back into the Knox system when students get much better educations in Corbin, at much lower cost?
By the way, the difference in state-plus-federal funding sent to Knox versus Corbin Independent was $1,527 per pupil in the 2007-2008 school year. It looks like if around 150 students must return to Knox schools, then the taxpayer will get hit for about a quarter of a million dollars more, $1,527 more per child, to fund this loss of parent choice that forces kids into lower performing schools.
Worse, since Knox schools have a much, much lower graduation rate, the real costs over the lifetime of these students could run many times that amount.
So, maybe Kentucky taxpayers need some representation when the Kentucky Department of Education considers Corbin Independent’s appeal of the transfer agreement cancellation. It looks like everyone in Kentucky could have a lot of money at stake here.