Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback last week appointed a 10-member panel to determine if the state’s local school districts are concentrating their spending on classroom instruction.

Members of the School Efficiency Task Force include Ken Williard, a member of the State Board of Education, Brownback’s chief budget advisor Steve Anderson and five CPAs.

Brownback said only 15 of the 286 school districts in Kansas adhere to state law that requires at least 65% of funds provided by the state to school districts are to be spent in the classroom or for instruction.

“The task force also will identify best practices for cutting administration cost, reducing overhead, and providing a greater percentage of state resources to support instruction,” Brownback said.

State Democratic leaders said the cut in the state’s income tax rate supported by Brownback at the 2012 legislative sessions will result in significant cuts to education spending.

Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said the expected $231 million drop in revenue in fiscal 2013 from lowered rates will translate into less money for schools and other state services.

“A lot of critical state programs are being put on the chopping block,” Davis said at a news conference in Topeka.

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