Contrary to popular belief, Kansas Legislative Research Department reports that State spending on K-12 education is increasing by $86 million in FY 2012, going from $2.971 billion to $3.057 billion (both totals include Dept. of Education operating costs of approximately $10 million). According to the school finance formula, amounts required for Special Education, pension payments and the state's portion of local bond payments are deducted from total aid; the remaining balance is then distributed according to the formula on weighted per-pupil basis. Since the increases in those 'off the top' items are greater than the $86 million increase in total aid, a reduction in base state aid was necessary. However, districts were also given authority to supplement base state aid by as much as $232 per pupil for FY 2012. For this purpose, 'pupil' is the adjusted enrollment of a district, excluding special education and related weightings.
Effective July 1, 2011 school districts are permitted to transfer unencumbered carryover cash balances from a group of twelve funds to be used for any operating purpose. Some of these balances have always been available but to the extent that restrictions existed, the new law (SB 111) expeditites access by lifting all restrictions. The funds included are At Risk (4yr Old), At Risk (K-12), Bilingual, Contingency Reserve, Driver Training, Parent Education, Professional Development, Summer School, and Virtual Education and Vocational Education. School districts may also transfer up to one third of the Textbook and Student Material Revolving fund and the Special Education fund.
There are no restrictions on how the money can be used, although the legislation includes a "public policy goal" that at least 65% of transferred carryover balances be expended in the classroom or for instruction. The Potential Available balances shown in this report reflect the sum of the balances in the subject funds as of July 1, 2011. The per-pupil amount shown is calculated by dividing Potential Available by weighted enrollment excluding special education for FY 2011.