Archive for Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Governor’s office recommends $114 million in cuts to higher ed

Educators fear loss of progress

More grim news on the budget front: State regents universities, including KU, could face a 7 percent budget cut.

November 12, 2008


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' budget office has proposed a $114.4 million cut to higher education, officials said Wednesday.

Kansas Board of Regents Chairwoman Donna Shank said such a cut would "profoundly stunt the progress the system has made toward meeting the state's workforce and economic development needs."

The proposal would include a 3-percent reduction in the operating budgets of higher education institutions for the current fiscal year and an additional 4-percent cut in the next fiscal year.

And it would include cutting $15 million for deferred maintenance projects, $15 million for the Kansas University pharmacy expansion in Lawrence and Wichita, $2.5 million for the KU graduate medical education program in Wichita, $2.5 million for Wichita Aviation Infrastructure funding, $2 million for Kan-Ed funding, and $900,000 to start up the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science.

In a statement put out by the regents, Shank said higher education institutions have worked hard to absorb proposed budget cuts in the current 2009 fiscal year.

But she added, "Looking ahead to fiscal year 2010, further budgetary reductions will make it increasingly difficult, if not entirely impossible" to address many critical needs in the state, such as increasing the number of math and science teachers and health care workers.

Sebelius' budget director Duane Goossen said the proposed cuts represent an initial recommendation from his office and that the regents, just like other state agencies, can appeal them.

"These are not final recommendations," Goossen said.

Once the appeals process is completed, Sebelius will begin putting together her budget proposal for the Legislature, which starts the 2009 session in January.

Goossen said the state is facing "an incredibly challenging budget" because of the nationwide economic downturn.

"We have a big gap between expenditures and expected revenue that we have to close," he said.

Last week, state budget experts said lawmakers face a potential $1 billion budget shortfall by the next fiscal year.

Sebelius has said she wants to protect school finance and social services, which accounts for most of state spending. That means budget cuts in other areas, such as higher education, could be deep.

"There are a lot of hard decisions ahead," said Goossen.

Concerning the KU pharmacy reduction, Goossen noted that his office has proposed paying for that $15 million with bonds, rather than from increased gaming revenues, which is how the project is now funded.

Shank said higher education has only recently recovered from cuts it sustained from the last recession several years ago. And, she said, cuts now may be short-sighted.

"Increased workforce skills boost overall economic productivity," she said, "thus the surest way to grow the Kansas economy is through an investment in higher education."


LogicMan 8 years ago

"If you have children/grandchildren, you better start honing their basketball or football skills."Mental skills! Many times more are on academic scholarships than athletic.

Chris Ogle 8 years ago

This is a start. With the current outlook for the State, we need to continue cuts until we see light at the end of the tunnel. At this point it is very dark in the state tunnel.

MyOpinionCounts 8 years ago

I work at KU as support staff and barely make poverty wages. My child also attends KU at full price. She is an average student who also works part time. Scholarships are non-existence for average kids. The only avenue in this day & time is to take out parent & student loans. So not only are the parents further in debt for their student's education, but the students themselves start out their careers thousands of dollars in debt.

justthefacts 8 years ago

Staff of institutions and their dependents may be given breaks on tuition, it's up the institution. See page 16 of wherein KBOR gives the institutions the authority to do this (subject to final approval by KBOR).Don't know how many universities have this program, but it may be worth looking into MyOpinionCounts.......

Curtis Lange 8 years ago

Well, thank God graduation is right around the corner! I should be out of here before the impending 100% tuition increase!

justthefacts 8 years ago

ashmole (Anonymous) says: " Why hold K-12 education free and clear?" Answer: The Kansas Supreme Court won't let funds for K-12 be cut: See see also waka1 (Anonymous) says: "all you rich collage kids ned to start paying your way not us..."But what about kids from poor families? Many such kids cannot afford tution as it is now (and do not qualify for the loans/grants/scholarships - they are all drying up in this economy). So only the rich will be able to afford/get a higher education, under the model (where only those who pay can go). If you approve of publicly supported education, this is dire news. If you don't - this could well be the beginning of the end of that concept.

frank mcguinness 8 years ago

Where are all the repub sebelius bashers when she comes out with an agenda to cut spending. I would think a fiscal conservative or two should applaud her middle of the road approach. It takes big cohones to come out as a dem and request a budget cut like this one.

doc1 8 years ago

At tleast they still have enough money to grant to the T. The state couldn't do without an empty bus system in Lawrence.

frank mcguinness 8 years ago

edjayhawk (Anonymous) says: Cost of tuition should be on a sliding scale. The richer you are the more you pay:It already is on a sliding scale, if you are smart you can go through very cheaply with scholarships and grants like my wife. If you are dumb you pay full price.

tomwbarker 8 years ago

I wonder if they thought of Hemingway's standard of living increase, which i I bet is more a year then some students make, before they cut the budget?Oh well . . . as long as Self and Mangino got there programs its all good!!!!!

frank mcguinness 8 years ago

Marion Lynn (Marion Lynn) says: There are other areas of state government which should get not only reducutions in spending but the near complete chop! Suggesting that those programs get dropped will raise no ire, so Komrade Kathy has to go to that which will arouse emotional and therefore irrational responses.In the case of budget cuts who will NOT give emotional or irrational responses. Do you have brain damage? What cuts will not affect someone, somewhere???? Infrastructure, health, education. Who will not freak when budget cuts are needed. Please Marion get tested, IQ, genetic, WHATEVER it takes to figure out what meds you need.

password 8 years ago

hope she goes on to washington and chops the budget there as she's doing in kansas

Danimal 8 years ago

I'm sure that there will be an incident of some sort at KU.Hopefully, Sebelius will go down as one of the worst Governors in the history of Kansas. She inherited the largest state budget surplus in history when she took office, and now her crazy spending policies have landed us here. People wonder why we can't keep skilled and highly educated laborers in Kansas, it's no real mystery. We're simply not working as a state to provide opportunities for them here. Sebelius needs to load up and move back to Ohio.

Hawk6643 8 years ago

Rooster, Being smart doesn't get you scholarships any more these days. Financial aid and scholarships have been reduced so much that hardly anyone gets them anymore, and when you do get them, they aren't even enough to one class at KU.

Hawk6643 8 years ago

I think making these budget cuts is going to be detrimental to KU. You already have a backlog of maintenance that has to be done on buildings. Heating/AC systems don't work, buildings are unsafe, pipes full of crap are leaking on students in buildings that haven't been renovated in 50 years. I am surprised their hasn't been a serious incident at KU.

password 8 years ago

isn't she on the same level as Obama? Instead of raising taxes they are going to cut cut cut - ouch! that's gonna hurt alot of people.

jprich 8 years ago

Looks like Danimal isn't much of a Bush supporter either. Simply replace a word here and there, and the similarities are profound:"Sebelius [Bush] will go down as one of the worst Governors [Presidents] in the history of Kansas [America]. She [He] inherited the largest state budget surplus [a budget surplus of $128 billion] in history when she [he] took office, and now her [his] crazy spending policies have landed us here."If Sebelius can be blamed for anything, it's following the same fiscal irresponsibility stemming from the commander in chief. Or, even better, she's forced into this position because of the poor economic situation due to the past eight years of Republican rule in the White House.

ashmole 8 years ago

Why hold K-12 education free and clear? Some cuts there could drive the consolidations of districts in western Kansas and yield real savings in costs at no sacrifice in educational quality.

frank mcguinness 8 years ago

Justthefacts this is not the case at KU where both of my parents are pretty high up the food chain. That being said if my parents worked at KSU my siblings could have received tuition breaks. Nothing even big debt is worth going to manhattan for.

OzChicklet 8 years ago

In situations such as we have these days, you either make cuts, raise taxes, or both to make ends meet. Stop the name calling and the blame game, folks. Now is the time to figure out new answers to old problems. Stop your bitching and take your ideas and do something positive and productive with them to help the situation.

Phillbert 8 years ago

Danimal is definitely confused. Sebelius inherited (from a Republican governor) a state that was bankrupt."Kansas began the fiscal year 2003 budget cycle with $12 million in reserve." exactly the largest surplus in history...that was what Bush inherited from Clinton.

Confrontation 8 years ago

Marion, have you ever taken any meds for paranoia?

Paul R Getto 8 years ago

"Why hold K-12 education free and clear? Some cuts there could drive the consolidations of districts in western Kansas and yield real savings in costs at no sacrifice in educational quality." === Obviously a different budget. Consolidation, from the 1960's to the present, has never really saved money and isn't intended to do so. School district organizations are tricky and complex, and geographically challenging. We need to save as much of rural Kansas as possible, and this will include lots of small schools.

Shardwurm 8 years ago

Educators always wail and cry when forced to live within a budget...yet they'll look you dead in the eye and tell you that a degree in sociology is worth the $80,000 you're paying...then they'll send Grad students to teach that class you just paid $1,000 for.Education in this country - at all levels - is a gigantic racket. They may as well stand there with a mask and gun while you're enrolling.

Kookamooka 8 years ago

If they wanted to increase math and science teachers in the state, bypass traditional colleges and send recently graduated math and science majors(who in this economy might be having trouble finding employment at all) into the classrooms with a summer seminar and constant mentor teacher oversight. Teaching isn't rocket science. It requires skills that can only be aqcuired through practice, practice, practice.

smarty_pants 8 years ago

How about KU Endowment pony up? They are sitting on over a billion dollars. Talk to some of the donors who have restricted their funds and see if they will unrestrict them. Don't most agreements with donors stipulate that the university can use the funds for other purposes in emergency situations? How about looking at some of the riduculously inflated salaries of those KU employees who manage the endowed programs at KU and cut some fat there?

Janet Cinelli 8 years ago

As a good dem, I voted for the 3 tax increases on the Lawrence ballot. As a conservative dem, I say "cut, Gov, cut!"

yankeevet 8 years ago

This is probably the wrong thing too say.......but anyway;GO LONGHORNS.................yowwwww!!! lol

nobody1793 8 years ago

We could significantly cut the state's Higher Ed budget by just shutting down K-State.

fu7il3 8 years ago

The cuts could be a blow to more than just the buildings. KU is the largest employer in Lawrence. I wouldn't doubt that jobs are cut as well. The sales tax is going up, property taxes are going up, and the largest employer in the city will probably cut jobs.That sort of sucks for Lawrence.

KU_cynic 8 years ago

Make no mistake, the budget crisis is real and has been a long time coming, and higher education's ability to charge and raise tuition to compensate for a further pull-back from the state makes higher education a logical place to try and hold spending.For me, this will be a real test of the current leadership at KU -- Chancellor Hemenway and Provost LaRiviere. Of course they will say all the necessary things about how spending on higher education is an investment in economic development and the state's future -- blah, blah, blah. Of minor interest is whether they write and read these scripts well or poorly. Frankly, lately in public the chancellor has been a very bumbling and ineffective public speaker, and the provost's reputation as a bit of a show-off and a bully still stings in some circles.Of major concern is what will KU's leadership do to handle the inevitable budget cuts. Will they be innovative and inspiring leaders who really identify areas of redundancy and weakness and cut hard, while perhaps even increasing investments in areas of strength? Or will they supervise a mediocricy-promoting muddling through involving general cutbacks, salary freezes, and even more deferred maintenance?This could be Hemenway's one last time to shine, or -- more likely -- his one last time to stink.

jumpin_catfish 8 years ago

Focus Janet Cinelli, which are you? You can't have it both ways. Be a liberal or be a conservative, you can't be both that's exactly what has got the country in the mess we are in now. Conservatives have not stayed true to their values and thought they could talk fiscal responsibility and act another way and spend the hell out of things. The three tax increases you voted for won't be enough, they will be back with their hand out.

OzChicklet 8 years ago

jumpin_catfish (Anonymous) says: Focus Janet Cinelli, which are you? You can't have it both ways. Be a liberal or be a conservative, you can't be both that's exactly what has got the country in the mess we are in now. Conservatives have not stayed true to their values and thought they could talk fiscal responsibility and act another way and spend the hell out of things. The three tax increases you voted for won't be enough, they will be back with their hand out.______Um, YES WE CAN have it both ways. And there are many other "ways" - combinations of choices that will get this state and this country out of this mess. Change is difficult for many people to accept and adjust to. We have to start working together, and looking at options that we've turned our little red, blue, purlple, or green noses up at in the past.

frank mcguinness 8 years ago

Marion wrties:Rooster, I was simply writing that Komrade Sibelius has gone for the thing which will get the most attention in an effort to justify higher taxes.This is utterly hilarious. Really if she wanted to pull on some strings that would really elicit an emotion she could have requested a budget cut in medicaid, social services for the elderly or disabled, how about primary education. No she didn't, of all things she requested a budget cut of the higher ed empire where sports rule over education. I mean marion please if you are going to post please post with info that will leave your family proud not concerned as to your mental state.

gogoplata 8 years ago

Things don't cost more. Your money is just worth less because the government is counterfeiting.

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