Higher ed funding
The next step in the budget process for higher education, including Kansas University, is now before the House Appropriations Committee.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved removing $10 million from KU's proposed budget. The money had been earmarked for construction of a new health education building at the KU Medical Center.
The House's education budget subcommittee, however, has recommended the $10 million be included in the budget. That decision will be analyzed this week by the full Appropriations Committee.
Funds for the classroom
In the continuing argument between Gov. Sam Brownback and the education community about how much in state funding goes into the classroom, the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, a nonpartisan group, has weighed in and said that 95 percent of school spending goes toward instruction and support services.
“With the majority of funds already focused on the classroom and essential services, Kansas schools have little room to cope with more budget cuts,” said Annie McKay, executive director of the center. “Further cuts will only make it harder for Kansas schools to offer children the same opportunities that children are receiving in other states.”
According to the group, 62 percent goes toward instruction and 33 percent for support services, such as guidance counselors, nurses, administration, libraries and transportation. The remaining 5 percent is spent on food services.
Brownback has said only 54 percent of spending goes toward instruction but has acknowledged there are different ways of calculating the figure.
Elimination of savings program
A House committee on Tuesday will consider a bill that would eliminate a post-secondary savings program aimed at low-income Kansans.
House Bill 2371 will be heard at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday by the House General Government Budget Committee.
The measure would eliminate the KIDS Higher Education Savings Match Program, which nearly 1,000 families currently utilize. Kansas Action for Children opposes the measure.
Quote of the week:
"And that is the crux of the abortion debate: whether one religious belief about when life begins should then be made the law for all, regardless of their own beliefs."
— Vickie Sandell Stangl, testifying against abortion restrictions in House Bill 2253.
8:30 a.m. — Final action on Senate Bill 149, drug screening for recipients of cash assistance and unemployment benefits, before Senate Commerce Committee, Room 548-South.
9 a.m. — Subcommittee budget reports before House Appropriations Committee, Room 112-North.
9 a.m. — Hearing on House Bill 2055, allowing concealed carry in public buildings, before House Federal and State Affairs Committee, Room 346-South.
10:30 a.m. — Hearing on Senate Bill 214, prohibiting the sale of bottle rockets, before Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, Room 144-South.
12:30 p.m. — Hearing on Senate Bill 169, Kansas Reads to Succeed Act, and possible action on Senate Bill 103, redefining at-risk pupil, before Senate Education Committee, Room 144-South.
1:30 p.m. — Possible action on House Bill 2280, celebrating freedom week in schools, before House Education Committee.
1:30 p.m. — Hearing on Senate Bill 199, establishing stem cell therapy center at Kansas University Medical Center, before Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, Room 118-North.
3:30 p.m. — Hearing on House Bill 2285, defining commercial and industrial machinery and equipment, before House Taxation Committee, Room 582-North.
9 a.m. — Final action on House Bill 2241, delaying renewable energy standards, before House Energy and Environment Committee, Room 582-North.
3:30 p.m. — Hearing on House Bill 2335, establishing a program for drug screening for cash assistance, before House Social Services Budget Committee, Room 144-South.