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KCPS to Return $192,730 Following Report on Falsified Attendance

KCPS to Return $192,730 Following Report on Falsified Attendance

Repayment based on a downward adjustment to Average Daily Attendance

Kansas City, December 3, 2019:  Kansas City Public Schools will be returning $192,730 as a result of the recent investigation into attendance data falsifications that occurred before Dr. Mark Bedell became superintendent.

Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) confirmed the final amount owed in a communication with KCPS leadership today.

On Nov. 20, KCPS publicly shared the results of an independent investigation into reports regarding altered student attendance records over a period of three school years, 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. This investigation revealed that a small circle of KCPS employees changed student attendance records in the district’s student information system to increase the percentage of students who were reported as present for 90 percent of the school year.

These actions resulted in a higher percentage of students attending class being reported to the state and the district receiving a higher-than-earned score in the Missouri School Improvement Performance Standards (MSIP). This misreporting also resulted in KCPS receiving more funding from the state than it was actually due.

Investigators found that the attendance data was falsified primarily to improve the school system’s MSIP results. Missouri uses an Average Daily Attendance (ADA) figure to determine the attendance-related funding for school systems.

The ADA figure for KCPS was mostly insignificant in terms of monetary reimbursement compared to what was reported originally to DESE. This means that KCPS received approximately $111,705 more than it should have and Kansas City charter schools received approximately $81,025 less than they should have – resulting in KCPS’s amount due as $192,730.

KCSP intends to submit this repayment within the next two weeks.

The independent investigation revealed that this alteration of data has not occurred since 2016. The investigation examined forensic records for school years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 and found no similar wrongdoing or problematic conduct analogous to its findings for 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016.

Kansas City Public Schools is issuing the following public statements regarding the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's release of the final Annual Progress Report results and the State Board of Education's discussion regarding our accreditation status. We are currently reviewing the state data and the state board's discussion and will follow-up with a full response early next week in conjunction with our next KCPS School Board meeting on Dec. 11.

 

Thoughts from Dr. Mark Bedell, Superintendent:

“We would like to acknowledge the release of Annual Performance Report numbers from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education today. KCPS is aware of our calculations and we are taking time to review our data so that we can have a bigger conversation with our staff, families and community next week in conjunction with our School Board meeting on December 11. We are looking forward to conveying our thoughts about the APR release to our staff, families and community then. We have much to celebrate along with our opportunities for growth.”

 

Thoughts from Ms. Pattie Mansur, KCPS School Board Chair:

“The Kansas City School Board is eager to dive into the district’s APR data with Superintendent Bedell and the leadership team to examine where we are seeing successes and the areas that need greater attention. We look forward to discussing the state’s required performance measures with district staff, families and community members and our progress toward full accreditation. Academic excellence is our central focus, and a commitment we take seriously on behalf of Kansas City's children."