Topeka — Members of the Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday affirmed their commitment to a one-year tuition freeze for Kansas residents if current budget situations hold.
Regents said they could commit to the freeze if these three conditions are met:
• No further cuts are made to higher education.
• No additional unfunded mandates are included in the budget.
• The Legislature upholds the governor’s veto allowing stimulus dollars to be used for tuition relief.
“If any of those pieces fall out, the deal has to be off,” Regent Gary Sherrer said.
The board also called on state leaders to reconsider some existing unfunded mandates in the budget — mandates such as a 1 percent salary increase for employees with no additional money allocated for it. But the Regents did not make that a condition of the tuition freeze.
New state revenue estimates will be released today, and they’re expected to bring more bad news for budget makers.
As the Legislature reconvenes later in the month for its wrap-up session, the potential impact on the tuition freeze plan remains unclear.
Sherrer said that he anticipated that the upcoming budget year would be the toughest that any of the current regents or sitting university chief executives had faced.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, and nobody else does either,” he said. “It’s going to be all over the place and it isn’t going to be solved in two or three days, either.”