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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

House Speaker Merrick OK with 4 percent cut to higher education

March 22, 2013

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— Republican House leaders on Friday said higher education could handle a 4 percent cut and dismissed any opinion to the contrary.

"The sky is falling is so much rhetoric," said House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell. He said the argument from post-secondary officials that such a cut would hurt "has no merit."

Both the House and Senate have approved separate budget bills and will start the process of negotiating those differences next week.

Under the House plan, higher education would face a 4 percent cut, which would total $29.2 million. The reduction would mean nearly $10 million less to Kansas University.

Meanwhile, the Senate plan would cut higher education by 2 percent.

Asked if there was room for compromise, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said he was comfortable with the 4 percent cut.

Higher education has been reduced by 15 percent in state funding during the past five years.

Earlier this week, officials from regents universities, community colleges and technical colleges said a 4 percent cut would reduce the number of classes offered, increase class size and end some technical course offerings.

Tim Caboni, KU's vice chancellor for public affairs, said such a cut, "really jeopardizes the role we play in fueling economic growth and development in the state."

A 4 percent cut would equal $5.48 million at KU and $4.28 million at the KU Medical Center for a total of $9.76 million. It would put state funding at KU below 2006 levels.

Legislative leaders have expressed concern over rising tuition rates, but school officials say the amount of state funding has a direct impact on tuition.

"There is an absolute relationship between a level of state support and tuition increases," said Caboni, noting that state funding per student has decreased 40 percent since 1999.

Comments

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 6 months ago

I remember reading the book, 1984, when I was in high school. The protagonist said that freedom is the right to say 2+2=4 even when the state says it's 5. Now we know which state legislature BELIEVES 2+2=5...if there's any doubt in your mind, it's this one.

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jrpigman 1 year, 6 months ago

Less state funding means higher tuition, higher tuition means less out-of-state dollars funding a quality education at lowered in-state tuition for Kansans, which means fewer educated Kansans, which means fewer Kansan engineers, doctors and teachers. If we as a state are to take seriously the problem of brain drain, we must address the root cause - our inability to educate and retain our own citizens.

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elliottaw 1 year, 6 months ago

with Brownback cutting funding to public schools left and right most probably will not be able to meet the requirements to get accepted to a college

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Patricia Davis 1 year, 6 months ago

The endowments have spent money on buildings and research BECAUSE the state has forgotten its promise to provide education for its children. I'd rather my tax monies go to education than to fighting the endless/winless social engineering lawsuits of the radical right.

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Thomas Bryce 1 year, 6 months ago

That is the Athletics Dept. They have THEIR OWN money unrelated to education. I am not a big supporter of that fact, but that IS how they have it set up.

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Thomas Bryce 1 year, 6 months ago

Poor choice of word on my part. They don't have to spend that money on education. The funds for the Building you are talking about will most likely be built with KUAC funds and Private donations.

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Slowponder 1 year, 6 months ago

Cutting education is contrary to the governor, who says he wants to "unleash the economic engine of Kansas." As the great philosopher, Jay Silverheels said, "White man talk with forked tongue."

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Dave Trabert 1 year, 6 months ago

The Regents State University Databook shows state general fund support declined by 7% over the last five years, not 15%. Interestingly, total operating expense INCREASED by 30% between 2007 and 2012 but FTE enrollment was only up 4%. See http://data.kansasregents.org/reports/DATABOOK/databook2013.jsp

KU total operating spending is up 25% even though FTE enrollment declined by 6.6%, so spending per FTE enrolled increased 33% to $34,669.

With spending increases significantly exceeding enrollment and inflation, it certainly seems that 4% could be saved by operating more efficiently.

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chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

The Databook information plainly states it doesn't include all state funded higher education institutions, and not all funding (or cuts) come from general fund expenditures, anyway. It doesn't appear that the data is in real dollars, either, but do keep on listing the data points you've cherry picked to try and sell us that used car.

Meanwhile, your corporate sponsors, the Kochs, have found "efficiencies" in the form of layoffs. That's usually where efficiencies are found in your world. Too bad the massive tax giveaway to the Kochs won't actually inspire them to increase their overall employment levels or even keep any of that extra money in the state - unless they want to fill the pool with cash and go for a swim.

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avarom 1 year, 6 months ago

Funding and structure

The Cato Institute is classified as a 501(c)(3) organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The Institute performs no contract research and does not accept government funding. For revenue, the Institute is largely dependent on private contributions.

According to its annual report, the Cato Institute had fiscal year 2008 income of $24 million. The report notes that 77% of Cato's income that year came from individual contributions, 13% from foundations, 2% from corporations, and 8% from "program and other income" (e.g., publication sales, program fees).

1

avarom 1 year, 6 months ago

Dave Trabert sounds like a used car salesman.....

1

texburgh 1 year, 6 months ago

There are two ways to tell when Dave Trabert is just parroting his Koch talking points and making stuff up: 1) he's typing and 2) his lips are moving.

Trabert doesn't understand the impact of budget cuts because whenever he needs more money for his propaganda machine, Papa Koch just ponies up. Unlike the students who don't have sugar daddies to just shrug off a tuition increase.

Dave Trabert, the Kochs, the State Chamber, AFP, all believe as Mitt, Merrick, and Rhoades: Everyone deserves all the education they can afford. And if you can't afford it, well, they will always need landscapers, roofers, hotel maids, and field hands.

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jwljpm 1 year, 6 months ago

Irrespective of the merits or demerits of cutting state spending for higher education, the problem is the costs of cutting state aid are shifted to middle class taxpayers through tuition and fee hikes. The costs are then shifted again to the kids themselves who are burdened with tens of thousands in student loan debt. Instead of buying cars and houses when they graduate, the kids are repaying their college loans, putting a further drag on the economy. The state support for higher education has fallen from over 80 percent of the cost of an education to well below 50 percent of the cost. It's gotta stop.

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JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 6 months ago

Dave trabert, why are you such a hater? You seem to hate government so much you want to destroy it. The problem is that without government 2 things will happen. 1st, there will be anarchy which may be fine for the Koch brothers as they could buy a private security force to protect their hoard of gold, but not so good for regular folk. 2nd, the middle class would disappear as it did in the mad max movies...

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Bob Reinsch 1 year, 6 months ago

He gets paid to be the face of The Koch Brothers. Take a look at the history of the Koch brothers and their father's political background. They're bullies. Their entire philosophy is "I got mine... you didn't get yours? Yeah, because I got yours, too." They're at the top of the food chain, and they are going to manipulate politicians, press and public opinion to make sure they stay on top and the rest of us are going to pay for it. They get tax breaks, we pick up the tab. It's their American Dream.

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konzahawk 1 year, 6 months ago

These legislators are idiots. Half of them didn't even go to college. I am a Republican and it sickens me how these illiterates fund education. KU has no choice but to continue to raise tuition. Our costs are still way below our peers in the AAU, but that doesn't justify Topeka not doing its job.

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jwljpm 1 year, 6 months ago

You hit it Konza. When I think of our current right wing grade school graduate legislators, the scene from Lord of the Rings comes to mind when all the hellish inhabitants of middle earth are about to descend on MinasTirith slobbering, grunting and moaning, threatening to end the rule of mankind. It is bad enough to be governed by ideologues, but stupid ideologues are intolerable.

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texburgh 1 year, 6 months ago

You are apparently not a Kansas Republican, Konzahawk. This is a state and a GOP that would reject Bob Dole, Dwight Eisenhower, and Nancy Kassebaum in favor of a Joe McCarthy.

There is home for you in the Democratic Party. You'd be welcome there.

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LHS1980 1 year, 6 months ago

Please remember these comments next election cycle..

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Greg Cooper 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, then, gotty, you don't know.

Is it ppossible for you to comment in a rational, reasoned manner with facts and data rather than Koch talking points?

Didn't think so.

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Thomas Bryce 1 year, 6 months ago

These Government Officials Here in Kansas don't support education Because THEY didn't need any to get where THEY are! Just LOOK how WELL that is working out for the Citizens of this State.This is a perfect example of what a Lack of Education Does to a population over time.. Kansas:"Education? Just DO what I say!"

1

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't believe anyone said money Directly equates intelligence. Money gives a person a better chance AT an education. Intelligence is dependent on the individuals willingness and ability to learn. Money is only a tool of education , a means to an end, so to speak.Money buys or pays for Books ,paper ,pencils ,Class rooms and the Teachers.The Level of Education Attained is up to the individual. No one can deny that education is easier to attain when you have money. It still takes hard work and discipline to learn.

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Thomas Bryce 1 year, 6 months ago

It is another decrease in funding that follows a trend of decreases in funding over the last couple decades. You can call it a decrease in the increase if you want. Still leaves ALL state universities with LESS. If Education of our next Generation is not important to you, then we are moving in the right direction as far as YOU are concerned.

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chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

Higher education has already done with less, as the article pointed out if you'd care to read it. Eventually those cuts will erode the infrastructure. Want doctors in this state, strangely familiar new poster? Then you better be prepared to pay the professors who train them.

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kujayhawk7476 1 year, 6 months ago

Kansas doesn't have "state funded" higher education, it has "state aided". Merrick and Rhoades are morons just like the rest of their right-wing whacko comrades!

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 6 months ago

Less state aid = higher tuition.

There is no free ride.

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chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

You might be able to make a coherent point if you knew the difference between state and local taxes and state and city employees.

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JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 6 months ago

And if he realized that state workers haven't had a raise in over 5 years and that their pay isn't tied to any tax increases or decreases per se.

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chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

Wow. Five years? And now their continued employment will depend on political purity tests, and their pension plan is facing destruction. I'm glad I'm not a state employee.

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wastewatcher 1 year, 6 months ago

How about each regent school agreeing to submit to zero based budget review performed by experienced local business and financial leaders with common sense cost control as a priority. I bet we would all be surprised at the amount of fluff, waste, and 'Cadillac' spending that could be reduced, eliminated, or would be very hard to justify in these difficult economic times. What do you think?

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Larry Sturm 1 year, 6 months ago

Just what we need other major foreign countrys putting every dollar into education and we keep cutting our education dollars how do they expect us to keep up we keep falling farther behind.

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Centerville 1 year, 6 months ago

If you want to see some world-class academic hand-wringing, check out what the President of Purdue has ordered. Including wage-freezes for the highest paid administrators.

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elliottaw 1 year, 6 months ago

maybe we should just moved to Canada, they pay their teachers more (on average) than teachers in the US and the cost of college is about $3000 a semester

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chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

You don't need to be a citizen to get a work permit or be a college student.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 6 months ago

The state should donate the lands and buildings to KU, which should become a private institution. The state would never again need to give KU another penny, and KU would be free from the smothering oversight of the dumb legislature and dumb constituents who elect it.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 6 months ago

The taxpayers have owned KU's land for years and gotten their investment back out of it. There would be nothing unfair to the taxpayer about deeding the land over to KU and cutting its tethers as a state-sponsored institution.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 6 months ago

What's the point? Services have been rendered already. It's not like KU is trying to get out of being a state institution so they can start making money. The legislature clearly prefers not to support KU. So give them the land, let them form a not-for-profit, and stop pretending.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 6 months ago

What is "unfortunate" is not that it won't happen, but that this legislature continues to pursue bad educational policy at all levels.

As far as studying "what is fair," peoples' concepts of what is fair are so disparate that such a study would be a purely academic pursuit. I disagree, too, that the State should have an ownership stake in the intellectual property created by researchers at the institutions. There are demonstrable economic benefits to having a D1 research institution (or a cancer center--but that is a red herring and takes us off-topic) in your state. Trying to offset tax rates by seizing intellectual property from its creators is pretty lousy policy. On the most practical level, the regents institutions will have a difficult time recruiting highly qualified faculty if one of the conditions is "every time you write a textbook and have it published, you have to split the royalties with the State treasury." On the level of fairness (since you took it there) it is unfair to expect a professor to research and publish, seize a segment of the professor's copyright or patent, and then tax the professor on what is left. (As long as we're only concerned about being "fair" to the taxpayer and not the professor, though, here's an idea--what if we seize a portion of the royalties but tax him or her on the full value of the royalties!)

Sometimes you do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 6 months ago

Alright, I have re-read the last post and realized it is more sarcastic than it needed to be. My apologies.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 6 months ago

Of course I needed to apologize. My tone was not spirited--it was rude. My mother taught me better than that, and I have embarassed myself. Apologizing was the right thing to do and I stand by it.

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Norton68 1 year, 6 months ago

Let us face it. Cuts can be made in higher education. Cut out the "fluff." Keep the solid courses that contribute to a good education. There are too many "junk" courses of study that really make no difference in any person's life. My observation is that you can take a major field of study in anything these days. That does not say much for higher education. The pertinent literature today is that not much learning and especially THINKING are happening in higher education in America.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 6 months ago

Anything can be improved, but throwing around unsupported generalities like you did ain't gonna make it happen.

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Norton68 1 year, 6 months ago

Check out the salaries of administrators, including departmental chairpersons. The salaries of some of them border on being "criminal."

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