Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

House Speaker Merrick OK with 4 percent cut to higher education

March 22, 2013


— 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.


Norton68 1 year ago

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


Norton68 1 year 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.


yourworstnightmare 1 year 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.


elliottaw 1 year 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


Centerville 1 year 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.


Larry Sturm 1 year 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.


wastewatcher 1 year 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?


toe 1 year ago

The state workers in town have more than enough money. No tax increase, tax abatement, or bond issue ever fails. With all the surplus money a 2-4% cut is peanuts.


yourworstnightmare 1 year ago

Less state aid = higher tuition.

There is no free ride.


kujayhawk7476 1 year 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!


IKU57 1 year ago

How again does money equate to intelligence? Everyone in the country is doing with less. Why can't the Intelligentsia do with less?

The 4% cut in the increase is bad? Tell us how it is bad Intelligentsia?


Thomas Bryce 1 year 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!"


Gotland 1 year ago

If I now hysterical lefties, they will cut air conditioning first to save electricity and keep the program to study homosexuality in lizards.


Paul R Getto 1 year ago

Welcome to 31% Sam's new Middle Ages.


konzahawk 1 year 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.


Jackie Jackasserson 1 year ago

I find it interesting that the party I heard decrying "intellectual elitism" is the same party rigging the system so that only those with sufficient economic background can afford higher education.


Dave Trabert 1 year 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

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.


Slowponder 1 year 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."


irtnog2001 1 year ago

Like the building to house the "Rules"


irtnog2001 1 year ago

There are plenty of good private colleges in Kansas not much more expensive than KU. Time for public colleges to spend down some endowment funds for education instead of fancy buildings and research.


jrpigman 1 year 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.


JayhawkFan1985 1 year 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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