Archive for Tuesday, March 27, 2012

House approves bill prohibiting state funds for remedial courses at universities

March 27, 2012


— The state House on Tuesday approved legislation that prohibits state funds from being used for remedial courses at Kansas University and other public colleges.

Here is how area legislators voted on HB 2745

Yes: Reps. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora; and TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City.

No: Reps. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence; Paul Davis, D-Lawrence; and Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence.

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.

The measure, sponsored by House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, was approved on a final vote, 68-55. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

KU offers one remedial course, intermediate algebra, which has an average of 900 students each fall.

During debate Monday, 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.


Jan Rolls 6 years, 1 month ago

What a bunch of rotten white men who have no concept of cultural differences. Yeah right there's a JUCO right around the corner. I can not believe how insenitive there jerks are.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

How predictable of you to have such low expectations for some students.

chootspa 6 years, 1 month ago

Why don't you take the GRE and get back to me on that. True story. They only ask for high school math.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 1 month ago

Not every high school graduate is entitled to nor equipped to attend the flagship institution of higher learning in the state.
But I am in favor of spending on junior colleges whatever money would have been spent on those courses at other institutions.

chootspa 6 years, 1 month ago

I don't have a problem with a university offering one remedial course. One, for Pete's sake. A lot of which is used for nontraditional students.

I also don't have a problem with them raising admissions standards so that fewer unprepared freshmen enter in the first place. That seems more than fair. KU has been clamoring for it for years. The fact that they're against this particular bill should tell you something right there.

CardHawkFan 6 years, 1 month ago

So if a student has a learning disability in a particular content area, they should be excluded from a university based on the fact that they may need some remedial courses. Nonsense! Funny how the three folks pushing for the bill in this article happen to have what in their towns colleges and technical schools. Interesting...

chootspa 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes. Kids with learning disabilities, older students, and returning soldiers. No university for you.

The end game on this one is to end up cutting their funding again. If you limit the number of people who can attend enough, you can make the argument that universities are too elitist for public dollars (an argument they already make) and then you can make sure that only the wealthy can attend them. Don't worry about that remedial class factor being limiting for them. Rich American kids have the highest test scores in the world, no lie.

Now that you've got public universities dependent on private tuition dollars and big donors, you can start buying your professors and courses of study. Happens already, and this will make it worse. Your Koch dollars at work.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 1 month ago

This is a terrible bill and a good example of what goes wrong when unqualified politiicians cannot resist the temptation to micro-manage complicated organizations where they have no experience and are destined to make bad decisions.

Why am I not surprised that the source of the problem is a dunce like Mike O'Neil?

This will just create a situation where Kansas students will have to spend more time in Junior Colleges or accept more limited options toward achieving a college degree.

We live in a time when our US education system is being challenged to improve in order to become more competitive in the global market. America needs to learn how to compete.

Do we trust these right wing politicians to micro manage our educational institutions?

How about the Cato Institute? A political think tank for right wing extremism.

If you trust these people, life is going to get a lot tougher in the future.

Miles Nease 6 years, 1 month ago

Raise the damn admission standards and you wouldn't need any remedial courses.

kochmoney 6 years, 1 month ago

Any? Hardly. You'd still need refresher courses for students returning to college after time in the workforce, including veterans.

WilburNether 6 years, 1 month ago

  1. High schools should be held accountable for graduating kids who are not competent in basic academic skills.

  2. Kids lacking those skills have no business moving on to a university.

  3. Taxpayers should not have their money confiscated to pay for these failures.


William Weissbeck 6 years, 1 month ago

Cut funding to public schools. Cut funding to colleges and universities. Raise minimum admission standards. Isn't doesn't take a remedial algebra course to see where this is going to lead. Welcome to Brownbackistan.

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