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Kansas School District Efficiency Study

This Kauffman Foundation-sponsored report identifies which Kansas school districts are maximizing their resources and how less efficient districts can make improvements.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and the Foundation commissioned Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services to conduct an Educational Efficiency Study of the state’s school districts. The objective of the project is to help Kansas better understand which districts are using their resources most efficiently and how less efficient districts may benchmark themselves against these districts to identify improvement opportunities.

The study does not try to answer the question of how much money the state and individual school systems should spend on education.

To determine a district’s efficiency, Standard & Poor’s analyzed multiple data points including how much the district spends per student; the district’s performance on the Kansas Reading and Math Assessments; and the percentage of students enrolled in the district with economically disadvantaged backgrounds, disabilities, or limited English proficiency.

Each school district was given an efficiency score. Kansas’ scores range from about 60 percent to 100 percent efficient. This means that the least efficient district is approximately 60 percent as efficient as the most cost-effective districts. The average Kansas school system is approximately 85% as efficient as the most cost-effective districts.

Among the state’s 300 school districts, there were 257 school systems that had adequate data for analysis. Of this number, 21 received scores of 100 percent; additionally, six districts achieved relative efficiency scores that exceeded 99 percent.