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Archive for Monday, February 20, 2012

Proposal gets aired that would allow in-state tuition for military veterans at Kansas universities

February 20, 2012

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— A House committee Monday heard from two Kansas University students, who are military veterans, and then recommended legislation that would allow all military veterans pay the lower in-state tuition rate to attend a regents university.

Sara Sneath, a military veteran and Kansas University student, on Monday testified to House Education Budget Committee on bill that would grant in-state tuition to military veterans.

Sara Sneath, a military veteran and Kansas University student, on Monday testified to House Education Budget Committee on bill that would grant in-state tuition to military veterans.

"Service members who gave years of their young lives in the service of our beloved country deserve in-state tuition," said Bradley Boomsma, an Iraq war disabled veteran who is originally from Arkansas but came to KU to study military history.

Boomsma and Sara Sneath, a Marine Corps veteran and Kansas native, said Kansas would benefit by attracting more veterans who are older, more likely married with families and who will settle down where they attend school.

"With the current reduction in armed forces, more military veterans — with entitlement to federal benefits — are looking for a place to pursue their education goals, a place they will eventually call home," said Sneath who is majoring in journalism, Spanish and sociology. "We believe that with House Bill 2652, military veterans will find that home in Kansas," she told the House Education Budget Committee.

Under current law, military personnel, their spouses and dependents are allowed to pay in-state rates at state universities, if they have been in the state for two years during their military service and established a residence in Kansas within 30 days of their discharge, according to a fiscal note of the bill. In the last fiscal year, universities waived $4 million in out-of-state tuition.

Under the proposal, the waiver program would be open to anyone who has served in the military. The cost of the program would increase, but no estimate has been given about how much because officials said it was impossible to predict how many would take advantage of the program.

Mary Jane Stankiewicz, spokesperson for the Kansas Board of Regents, said that while it appears on paper that the waiver costs the state money, the schools are receiving tuition funds they otherwise wouldn't have gotten.

Charles Yunker, adjutant of the American Legion Department of Kansas, said, "Some may argue if we as Kansas taxpayers can provide in-state tuition rates for the children of illegal immigrants, we should at a minimum provide the same consideration to those who have honorably served in the military."

Sneath said that prior to August, the Veteran's Administration paid about two thirds of the cost of out-of-state tuition rates. But that has since been cut to less than half, which has increased the out of pocket costs of veterans, from roughly $2,759 per semester to $4,756 per semester. she said. The in-state tuition rate at KU is $253.70 per credit hour, while the out-of-state rate is $650 per credit hour.

Comments

billbodiggens 2 years, 1 month ago

I am an old vet. Had the GI Bill and the whole nine yards. But, when you get right down to it, this bill does not solve any problems now faced by Kansas. The jobs have to be there for anyone to stay in Kansas after they graduate, vet or no vet. The legal atmosphere of Kansas must be one of welcoming all comers who wish to work, vet or no vet. The schools their children attend must be adiquate, vet or no vet. The highways and infra structure to support industry must be adequate, vet or no vet. The legislature has just got to stop messing around and get to work, vet or no vet. Get on with the important stuff and leave this election year candy alone. (I would be surprised if even a simple majority of the Kansas legislature were vets. And I am willing to be surprised it that is not true.)

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pace 2 years, 1 month ago

This should not be a comment section about anything but our vets. I think every state in this country should offer instate tuition to our vets. They served, they deserve our attention, You guys riding on their backs to hack up your phlegm about your special hates should be ashamed.

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gudpoynt 2 years, 1 month ago

Excellent idea KS legislature! More ideas like this please -- that respect public spending on education, that honor veterans, that work toward progress.

And please, fewer ideas based on fear of brown skinned people, fear of teachers, fear of unions, fear of clean energy, fear of socialist indoctrination -- fewer ideas based on fear in general would be nice.

It's time we all started acting like grown-ups instead of allowing our unsubstantiated fears to foster the perpetuation of childish and dangerous ideologies (see Wilbur's post above).

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svenway_park 2 years, 1 month ago

The headline is a little misleading. Veterans who choose Kansas as their state of residence currently do pay in-state tuition. Or, as non-residents, they can choose to move to the state and live a year, just like other non-residents, and be afforded in-state Tuition rates.

This proposal is about allowing those who maintain their residency in other states, and pay their taxes to these other states, to be afforded in-state residency. I suggest that many would have a problem with this policy, if they really understand it.

In regards to the "immigrant" issue, Kansas law affords this privilege only to families who have lived in Kansas for a lenghty time, and who already pay Kansas taxes.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

A much saner approach would be a 70% cut in military spending, and a 100% cut in war spending, which would boost the economy (meaning going into the military would no longer be last resort employment for so many millions) and much of those savings could be spent on providing education instead of funding imperial adventures.

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Jayhawker07 2 years, 1 month ago

About time that our vets get the same treatment that the immigrants do.

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