In a Tweet earlier today, the Kentucky Education Association (KEA) made a rather sharp claim that Kentucky had the “4th worst funding for our schools in the nation.”
Really? Where is that coming from?
One of the better state education finance rankings has been presented for years by the US Census Bureau in their “Public Education Finances” series. These used to be PDF documents, but the latest, 2016 data, is presented in Excel spreadsheet format as part of the “2016 Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data” material.
Here is Table 11 from that 2016 report, which does ranking of per pupil expenditures of each state for multiple categories (click on the table to enlarge). Note that Kentucky’s information, highlighted in yellow, isn’t even in the bottom 10 for ANY ranking here.
Want an even better shocker?
The KEA’s national group, the National Education Association, puts out its own, very detailed education statistics report each year. The latest one I have is Rankings & Estimates, Rankings of the States 2017 and Estimates of School Statistics 2018.
Go to table C-1 in this document, which covers Public School Revenue Per Student in Fall Enrollment, and Kentucky ranked 34th in 2016 and 33rd in 2017.
Got that? Even the KEA’s parent organization isn’t reporting anything close to the nonsense KEA is spewing.
All of this just adds to our concerns that Kentuckians are not getting credible data about how we are really funding our schools. We get numbers from all over the place. The problem is, those numbers themselves are all over the place.
Give us some accurate data, and maybe we will finally be able to see how we might spend our dollars better. Until that happens….