Topeka Higher education officials Friday were upset about a budget amendment that essentially removed the possibility of post-secondary schools getting any additional funding during the wrap-up session.
"The budget reflects priorities, so it's disappointing to see that providing our state's 36 public higher education institutions with the funding necessary to produce trained workers to meet the state's work force needs is not among the Legislature's priorities," said Kip Peterson, a spokesman for the Kansas Board of Regents.
The dispute arose in the Senate during budget debate.
The Senate budget writing committee had included an additional
$10 million for higher education in the final state spending bill. But an amendment successfully put on by state Sen. David Wysong, R-Mission Hills, deleted most of the committee's proposed budget enhancements.
Wysong said he pushed for the amendment because he was concerned the state was overspending.
That crushed the possibility of additional funding during the wrap-up session because the House's proposed budget had no additional higher education funds either.
Earlier this session, higher education did get a $10 million increase in its operating grant, and that remains intact.
The final budget was being negotiated by a House-Senate conference committee.
Kansas University was also trying to win approval of $50 million in bonds for expansion of its pharmacy school.
There has been legislative support for the proposal, but disagreements about how to finance the project.