Didn’t the Legislature’s own audit say that schools are underfunded?
No. It’s been said that the 2006 Legislative Post Audit report said schools were underfunded but the report very clearly says that is not true. LPA said the goal of that report was “…to make decisions and assumptions in both cost studies that were reasonable, credible, and defensible. Because K-12 education funding levels ultimately will depend on the Legislature’s policy choices, we designed the input-based cost study to allow different “what if” scenarios.” They also said, “In other words, it’s important to remember that these cost studies are intended to help the Legislature decide appropriate funding levels for K-12 public education. They aren’t intended to dictate any specific funding level, and shouldn’t be viewed that way.”
The Augenblick & Myers 2001 cost study suggested that schools were underfunded, and while the Montoy courts relied on that study, the Supreme Court essentially threw out that report in Gannon, saying that cost studies “…are more akin to estimates than the certainties…” envisioned by the District Court. Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall (then writing for Kansas Policy Institute) discovered in 2009 that A&M admittedly deviated from their own methodology by ignoring efficient use of taxpayer money, which produced inflated cost estimates.