Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, January 17, 2013

Regents applaud Brownback’s flat budget for higher education

January 17, 2013

Advertisement

— Gov. Sam Brownback's flat-funding budget proposal for higher education is a far cry from what the Kansas Board of Regents wanted.

But the regents praised the governor on Thursday, considering the state's tight financial situation.

"The important point here is the governor has made a policy decision that he is not going to support cuts to higher ed," said Regent Vice Chairman Fred Logan of Leawood. "He recognizes that there is no better pro-growth strategy than having a strong system of higher education," Logan said.

Chairman Tim Emert of Independence said there was no complaining from the regents. "We were anticipating that it could've been worse," he said.

But Emert said that if revenue proposals from the governor fail in the Legislature, the funding situation for higher education will get worse.

Specifically, Brownback wants the Legislature to make the 6.3 percent state sales tax permanent, instead of allowing it to fall as required by current law to 5.7 percent on July 1. And he wants to eliminate the mortgage interest tax deduction.

The state's budget crunch is the result of income tax cuts Brownback signed into law that lower rates and eliminate state income taxes for nearly 200,000 business owners.

Coming into the 2013 legislative session, the regents had requested a $47.1 million increase for higher education, which included a 1 percent pay raise for employees.

But essentially, there will be no systemwide increases for two years under Brownback's spending plan, although he recommended some projects get started, such as the proposed $75 million medical education building at Kansas University.

"Putting money in there for the health education building was really a critical policy choice on his part," Logan said.

Brownback has recommended $35 million in bonding authority and $10 million from the state over two years to build the medical education building and training facility at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. KU has said it will raise private funds to make up the rest of the cost.

In seeking state help, KU had wanted the state to release $25 million that was returned from the federal government as part of a FICA refund related to payroll taxes paid back in the 1990s.

But the governor has recommended releasing only $10 million and depositing the other $15 million in the state's all-purpose general fund.

Brownback also has initiated a two-year budget cycle. On Thursday, the regents directed universities to propose tuition rate requests covering a two-year period. Rates now are set annually.

Under the directive, universities will provide a tuition rate request for the fiscal year starting July 1, and a "soft" tuition rate for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2014.

The "soft" tuition rate request could be modified by the regents at the request of an institution in spring 2014.

Regent Kenny Wilk of Lansing initiated discussion of a two-year tuition rate request, saying it could improve long-term planning, and dovetail with the governor's two-year state budget plan.

Aside from financial issues, the regents plan to oppose expected bills that would allow concealed carry of guns on campuses and seek to repeal a law that allows in-state tuition for some undocumented students.

Under current law, students are considered Kansas residents eligible for the less expensive in-state tuition if they graduated from a Kansas high school or received a GED, have lived in the state for three years and pledge to become citizens. There are approximately 600 students enrolled under the law at state universities, community colleges and technical colleges.

Logan defended the law. "It's also important for our economy because those students are going to have better training, better education, and they are going to be really great productive citizens here in Kansas," he said.

Comments

Paul R Getto 1 year, 3 months ago

Please, may I have some more?

KBOR is pretty beaten down if they are acting like starving Oliver. Now they are thankful Muscular Sam is not cutting their budget any more. Clearly, the Gov is making progress lowering expectations.

1

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 3 months ago

Could it be that they are taking money away from those of us who actually pay taxes because there are to many that don't? There is only so much money the educational system has to compete with welfare for those dollars. Until there is entitlement reform we are running head first to a point where there won't be anything for anyone.

0

DScully 1 year, 3 months ago

The Board of Regents is in SB's pocket, has been for some time now. As for taxes, the middle income on down get hurt again, and the mortgage interest deduction, which benefited those who needed it the most, gets cut. Homestead refunds, starting next year, will no longer be able to be used by low income renters, and no more child care deductions. Who in their right mind would want to move here???

1

John Pultz 1 year, 3 months ago

Ditto to Laredo. Brownback wants to make Kansas a low-paid third-world country. But that doesn't draw 21st-century jobs. Look at how many corporations are HQ'd in state like New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut that tax people but provide a high quality of life.

2

Larry Sturm 1 year, 3 months ago

How does Brownback expect people and business to come to kansas when he is distroying education and infrastructure?

1

Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

Can't argue with that. But when I'm in a lose, lose situtation, I make sure the other party can't enjoy it. May as well go down big. If evilsam wants to retaliate against the innocent, the quicker everyone can see what he truly is. In short I can't be blackmailed or intimidated.

1

Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

Regents, don't forget to genuflect and bow as you leave evilsam's august presence.

2

question4u 1 year, 3 months ago

Issues of harming program rankings, losing experienced people, and disrupting student research aside, it's costly to replace faculty.

Faculty searches require thousands of dollars for advertising, screening interviews at conferences, and food and lodging for on-campus finalists, generally three. Skype interviews for screening applicants have made things more economic, but the cost of a search still isn't cheap. it is also time consuming, making faculty less efficient at the teaching and research that they would otherwise be doing. Also, each new hire involves start-up costs, and in the sciences those can be $10,000 or more.

It's foolish in any business context, for profit or not-for profit, to rack up expenses every year because of high employee turnover. Much of what is saved in paying non-competitive wages ends up being spent in replacing employees. It's incredibly simplistic to say let them leave if they don't like it. That's cutting off your nose to spite your face. Everyone knows that.

Well, apparently not everyone...

5

Larry Sturm 1 year, 3 months ago

Hold brownback in contempt of court on school financing and put him in jail if I was in contempet of court I would be in jail.

1

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 3 months ago

Every time I lost a job or a girl friend, I got a better one. Let them leave. It was their choice to purchase a PhD and there is nothing in the rules that their decision demands a certain pay.

1

irtnog2001 1 year, 3 months ago

For each one that leaves there are hundreds to take their place

1

elliottaw 1 year, 3 months ago

wow no increases for Professors, there goes KU's ranking nationally as they leave left and right to earn what their peers make, unless you are in Medical or Engineering you get paid squat for someone with the PhD

1

Commenting has been disabled for this item.