KSU Faculty, Alumni Edit Text on School Funding

Five education leaders with ties to the Kansas State University College of Education have edited a book positioned to become the nation’s preeminent text on preschool through grade 12 school funding. It covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Indian Country.

Funding Public Schools in the United States and Indian Country” was published by the National Education Finance Academy to be an asset for policymakers, scholars, reporters, researchers and administrators alike. Chapters were written by education leaders in their respective states.

Information once housed in hundreds of locations, whether local, state and federal archives, is now available in “Funding Public Schools in the United States and Indian Country.” The book provides a uniform and easily digestible comparison of each state’s funding, including general background on state aid formula; basic support program description and operation; supplemental funding; aid and funding for compensatory and categorical programs; funding for transportation; and more.

The editors are David C. Thompson, Kansas State University Elvon G. Skeen endowed professor of educational leadership and National Education Finance Academy distinguished research fellow; R. Craig Wood, professor of educational administration at the University of Florida and longtime collaborator with Thompson; S. Craig Neuenswander, school finance team director at the Kansas State Department of Education; John M. Heim, executive director of the Kansas Association of School Boards; and Randy D. Watson, Kansas commissioner of education. Alex RedCorn, Kansas State University assistant professor of educational leadership and citizen of the Osage Nation, was the lead author on the chapter about education finance in Indian County.

Heim, Neuenswander and Watson are all alumni of Kansas State University: Heim earned a doctorate in educational administration; Neuenswander earned a doctorate in educational leadership; and Watson earned a bachelor’s degree in history, master’s degree in secondary administration and an educational doctorate.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the K-State College of Education, believes this book will be a resource for one and all.

“This project demonstrates the unequivocal leadership role that faculty and alumni from the K-State College of Education hold at the state and national levels,” Mercer said. “Schools matter because they are the heartbeats of communities and neighborhoods, and I applaud Dr. Thompson and all of his colleagues for taking on this daunting project as school finance is undoubtedly