A new commission looking for efficiencies within Kansas’ public school system is raising questions about how the state provides extra money to help districts educate their poorest students.
The K-12 Student Performance and Efficiency Commission began a two-day meeting Thursday with a discussion of so-called “at-risk funding.” Legislative post auditor Scott Frank said school districts receive about $1,750 in extra funding for each student who is poor enough to qualify for free lunches. Statewide, that amounts to $347 million.
An earlier audit found that as many as 23,000 students receiving the free meals weren’t eligible. Frank says another 6,900 students may be eligible but don’t apply.
Commission members asked whether using census poverty data or student achievement results would be a better way to distribute the money.