Topeka The state House on Monday advanced legislation that prohibits state funds from being used for remedial courses at Kansas University and other public colleges.
It would also cut from 10 percent to 5 percent the number of freshman class or transfer admissions allowed under the "exception window," meaning they don't need minimum admission standards.
A final vote on the measure, sponsored by House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, is expected Tuesday.
KU offers one remedial course, intermediate algebra, which has an average of 900 students each fall.
State Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, spoke against the bill, saying many students often need remedial math, including those who have been out of a school for a while.
State Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, said, "I dare say that most of us couldn't do college level algebra at this point of our lives without remedial help."
The other part of the bill cuts in half the number of students admitted under the exception window. Of the six regents schools, three exceeded 5 percent in the number of freshman students admitted as exceptions: Emporia State, 8.1 percent; Pittsburg State, 7.1 percent; and Fort Hays State, 6.8 percent. Kansas State was a 3.7 percent; Wichita State at 1.6 percent; and KU had the lowest rate of admitting students under the exception at 0.4 percent.
State Rep. Kasha Kelley, R-Arkansas City, said students who need remedial help or haven't achieved minimum standards would probably do better to attend a community college or technical school. State Rep. John Grange, R-El Dorado, succeeded in putting in an amendment that would exclude military veterans from being counted as those students admitted through the exception window.