LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill

Kansas in middle of pack on higher-education funding during last few years


A few days after we found out what kind of state funding Kansas' public universities might receive next year, the Chronicle of Higher Education has a report (link can be accessed for free) on how much higher-education funding states across the country provided for THIS school year.

And Kansas was more or less in line with the rest of the pack. The state's funding for higher ed — including both tax appropriations and other funds — rose by 2.7 percent in the 2013 fiscal year, or the 2012-13 academic year. But during the last five years, Kansas' state funding has still fallen by 8.1 percent.

That's about what most states have experienced; 30 states increased their higher-ed funding for this year, but 38 have reduced funding overall during the last five years. (In total, higher-ed funding decreased for the 2012-13 year, but that's largely because of some big cuts in some larger states, such as Florida and California.)

Compared with its neighboring states, Kansas' funding situation doesn't look too catastrophic: Missouri's funding fell slightly for 2012-13, and has fallen 8.9 percent for the last five years; Colorado levels sunk by 1.1 percent this year and 14.3 percent over five years; in Nebraska, though, funding has actually grown slightly during the past five years, including a 1.4 percent bump this year.

KU officials will certainly tell you that the funding situation since about 2008 has led to a host of challenges, though.

You can take a look at numbers from other states in that Chronicle story.

As for NEXT academic year, Gov. Sam Brownback's proposed budget last week would keep systemwide spending on higher education essentially flat for the next two years. It would recommend $35 million in bonding authority and $10 million in state funds to build a new education building at the KU Medical Center, though.

Money is tight everywhere these days, it seems. But you know what's free? Sending a KU news tip to merickson@ljworld.com!


merickson 5 years, 4 months ago

One note to add, as I take a second look here: Kansas has been in the middle of the pack when it comes to CHANGES in higher-education funding the last few years, in case that's not clear. This report was not comparing the flat amounts of funding for higher ed from each state, but rather how much the funding changed from year to year. My apologies if that wasn't clear.


Michael Shaw 5 years, 4 months ago

Where do we find the "flat amounts of funding"? The governor said, I believe, that Kansas spends more on education than surrounding states.

merickson 5 years, 4 months ago

That's a great question, and I'm going to try to get you an answer in the form of a future blog post. Thanks.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.