We recently posted about KPI’s Dave Trabert using multiple platforms to spread lies about our organization. This started with KPI’s argument about our post that explains “The (school) board does NOT determine the amount of state dollars allocated to our district.” Only KPI seemed to have trouble understanding our point - in fact they’ve posted twice now about our post on the subject. As they’ve done for years, KPI brought out the argument, well if the district would just get rid of some managers, they could pay the remaining people more.
KPI wrote “Blue Valley has 21,888 students and 182.5 managers (superintendent, deputy and assistant superintendents, principals, assistant principal, directors and executive directors, instruction coordinators, and curriculum specialists), or 119.9 students per manager. Shawnee Mission has 172 students per manager.” They linked as their source...KPI’s own website.
We thought it sounded fishy that two very similar districts in the same county would have such significant differences in admin to student ratios, as KPI claimed. We questioned those numbers because we know that on the Budget-at-a-Glance document that districts are required to post online, Blue Valley lists *105 administrators* for 2022-23. Where did KPI find those other 77.5 BV “managers?” Using the (real) numbers on the KsLeg-defined Budget-at-a-Glance yields very similar admin-to-student ratios between districts: 214 students per admin for BV, 201 students/admin for SM.
Where did KPI get the numbers to make their claims? We talked to a lady at KSDE (who’s worked there for over 20 years) who told us KSDE does not use the category “managers” - “I don’t know where they got that definition,” she said. KSDE publishes data by individual personnel categories.
She kindly walked us through how to find and download the report that KPI uses to make their claims. That form is completed and submitted each year by school districts so KSDE can provide data that legislators and others use.
We looked at the personnel categories that KPI has named “managers,” and compared BV and SM (link below). It’s very clear from reviewing the numbers that the discrepancy between BV and SM is, at least in part, in the way duties are categorized, jobs are named...in other words, semantics. Examples: Other Curriculum Specialists. Blue Valley has 31.5. Shawnee Mission has 0. That doesn’t make sense - of course SM has curriculum specialists; they just call it something different. Instructional Coordinators/Supervisors: BV has 0, SM has 10. Those duties must be called something else in BV. On the Nonlicensed Personnel form, the total numbers of Technology employees (managers and non-managers) are similar between BV and SM; BV shows 4 more Directors/Coordinators/Supervisors; does this mean SM Tech personnel aren’t supervised? We doubt it. Some of the same duties are likely absorbed by non-D/C/S positions.
The Kansas Legislature requires districts to post their Budget-at-a-Glance online, and they spell out what must be posted - one of those is total number of administrators. According to the *legislature’s* definition, Blue Valley has 105 admins, which amounts to 214 students per admin. That’s the true number, not some overinflated number composed of apples-to-oranges job titles lumped together by KPI. Of course they’ll argue with us until we’re dead if we let them - but we have other things to do so we’re done with them for now. But we want you to know the TRUTH if your neighbors question you about whether Blue Valley really has “too many managers.”
Here’s the link to read the documents on the KSDE website:
Choose “Licensed Personnel by Personnel Type” and “Personnel by Personnel Type - Nonlicensed”
D0229 Blue Valley
D0512 Shawnee Mission