Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Kansas Administrative Costs Consistent Over the Past Decade

There have been recent comments in the media regarding the drastic increases in administrative costs in Kansas public schools.  KASB went to KSDE's current operating expenditure summary data to confirm or deny the following statement:  "Administrative costs are increasing dramatically in Kansas schools."

You can find the summary table here, but below are some key points:
  • From 2005 to 2015
    • Spending on instruction increased almost $875 million; which is a 40.2% increase. 
    • Spending on administration increased $78 million; which is a 23.6% increase.
    • The percent spent on administration has decreased from 9.2% to 8.2%.  If Kansas was still spending 9.2% of the total expenditures on administration in 2015, we would be diverting an additional $49,636,603 away from the classroom.
    • Per pupil spending on instruction increased $1,660; which is a 33.7% increase.
    • Per pupil spending on administration increased $134; which is a 17.9% increase.
    • The percent spent on instruction has increased from 60.4% to 61.1%. 
Below is a chart showing the total expenditures by year and category.

The bottom blue area represents instruction spending, following by support services for staff and pupils in red and green, then general and school administration in purple and blue.

Note that the lines for general and school administration have remained largely consistent over this time period.  

The graph below shows the expenditures on a per-pupil basis.  

The per-pupil graph looks very similar to the total cost graph; the amounts spent for general and school administration have been very consistent since 2005.  Therefore, based on this information, it seems safe to say that the statement "Administrative costs are increasing dramatically in Kansas schools" is false.

For more information, visit kasb.org/research.  


  1. Thanks for this, Ted...getting so tired of the misinformation!

  2. I guess if you look at it in terms of cents/pennies versus dollars then it may "look" more dramatic.