Topeka Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway today blasted a House Republican budget proposal that would divert funds from higher education and delay a state employee payraise.
In speeches in the Capitol during KU Day in the Capitol, Sebelius described the proposal recommended by the House Appropriations Committee as "simply wrong" while Hemenway said the plan "could easily be described as how to cannibalize Kansas education."
Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee who pushed through the budget said the reductions were needed to provide enough funds for a $115.9 million increase for public schools and keep the lid on statewide taxes.
But Sebelius and Hemenway said lawmakers shouldn't pit public schools against higher education and state employees.
"It makes no sense to temporarily prop up our elementary and secondary schools by tearing down colleges and universities, or vice versa," Sebelius said.
Hemenway added, "This is an obvious strategy to divide and conquer. The proud tradition of the Kansas education system, pre-school through graduate school, should not be sacrificed on a hanging tree labeled fight it out among yourselves."
For more on this story, see the 6News reports at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunflower Broadband's channel 6 and pick up a copy of Thursday's Journal-World.