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Do you think state colleges will suffer financially while legislators re-evaluate the K-12 school system?

Asked at Lawrence Antique Mall, 830 Mass. on January 10, 2005

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Photo of Allan Flanner

“If they cut back on college funding, the colleges will simply raise tuition or try and recruit more international students. They may also raise the price of sporting events, parking fees or other sources of income.”

Photo of Linda Turner

“No, not really. The K-12 schools are the ones that are suffering. The state colleges have more private sources of income, so I think that they will be fine.”

Photo of Sharmon Polson

“I think every state institution is suffering right now. We need to help those who need it most, whoever that may be.”

Photo of Ron Goodwin

“They are suffering right now because of a lack of decision making in the Legislature, so I think they will continue to suffer.”


BunE 13 years, 4 months ago

If the Universities are strapped for cash, here is a suggestion:

Complete open admissions to all Kansas residents. Remove all remedial classes, no intro to math or science

This will increase the number of freshmen, wash out those not serious about school and cut costs in staffing.

This will also increase enrollment in Community and Junior Colleges by sending those who flunk out or are smart enough to recognize their weaknesses to the insitutions that can prepare them for a four year degree.

Jayhawk226 13 years, 4 months ago

Oh man, aren't the regent universities already suffering financially? I thought I once read that, particularly, the University of Kansas has been gradually reduced State funding over the last 30 years and is now barely 1/3 funded by the State of Kansas.

Kansas is a beautiful state, don't get me wrong...but if it ever wants to be come a real, thriving 21st century much change and evolution has to occur.

The University of Kansas is its biggest hope...and yet the State just will not fund it close to what it should.

I hope my out-of-state tuition dollars helped compensate for the State's shortcomings.

Carmenilla 13 years, 4 months ago

Careful Jayhawks226!!! You can't talk about education and evolution in the same paragraph here in Kansas!

Jayhawk226 13 years, 4 months ago

you're right carmenilla...

...i'm surprised they haven't stripped me of my teaching license yet for making that comment!

I had no idea it was a 1.7 million dollar memorial--if that's the case, I reintroduce a cheaper garden for sure!

badger 13 years, 4 months ago

In short, there's not ever enough money to go all the way around. Somehow, something always gets pinched, either the taxpayers for more money or state programs as money gets shuffled around. I think the key lies in clear prioritizing, planning, and implementation.

Are we going to be a state that focuses on small business? Adherence of education and law to conform to or include specifically defined Biblical standards? New scientific business? Health care for everyone? Preservation of family farming? Education? We can't focus on all of them; we haven't the resources, and some of them are not exactly complementary goals.

But every three weeks it seems like we have a new focus. This week, we're a Health Care State. Next month, we'll be an Education State. We're constantly being inundated with the Crisis of the Week. Yeah, thousands of people are living in poverty, don't have insurance, can't get decently funded education for their kids, are worried about the homeless problem, want to stop underage smoking and drinking, want to stop teen pregnancy, need a better job market, want to address gay marriage. We have the resources to address one, maybe two of those problems fully--or all of them superficially and fairly ineffectively.

So, each time the focus shifts, we go from funding last week's crisis to funding this week's, and then six months later, we're back to that first crisis because we shuffled the funding to deal with crises 2-6, but the money never stayed in one place long enough to actually affect the situation.

As to whether it's better to fund public schools or state universities, I have to ask myself what good a really first-class state university is going to do a public that isn't educated well enough to attend it. I'm sure there are benefits, but I'm skeptical about the merits of splashy, high-dollar new image campaigns that don't improve the quality of education there, when the public schools are going begging.

remember_username 13 years, 4 months ago

The memorial price tag is pretty shocking at 1.7M USD. Even if it was paid for in donations alone KU would have to donate the ground. Something that costs 1.7M could use up alot of ground.

I work at KU and have been told by the powers that be that if KU raises university tuition, then the state legislature will lower funding a comparable amount. I think the opposite should apply, thus if the state takes away funding from the state colleges the colleges should raise tuition.

Both need to be funded if Kansas is to grow. We need to train and retain good people at all levels of education and that takes money. Kansas is poised where it could either remain an agricultural backwater or grow as a place of opportunity. Look around at all the industrial developments in other states and how many were born out of the university environment, built upon discoveries made at those universities. If Badger is right and it is a net zero sum game then the choice is ours - what do you want to give up?

kansas 13 years, 4 months ago

I'd be willing to give up Topeka! :P!

tir 13 years, 4 months ago

Kansas needs both good public schools AND good universities--funding one shouldn't mean that the other gets slighted. Unfortunately, a tax increase is likely going to be necessary to adequately fund both, and very few in the Legislature have the guts to vote for one, let alone propose one. Most of them are so concerned about getting re-elected that they won't risk alienating their supporters. I don't like paying higher taxes myself, but if the money is going to be used to fund education, I would be willing to pay more.

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