LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill
Brownback subscribes to 60 percent plan, but provides no details on how much that will cost
Kansas Board of Regents Chairman Kenny Wilk said he was delighted to hear Gov. Sam Brownback adopted one of the regents' main goals — getting 60 percent of Kansas adults to have some kind of post-secondary degree or work-related credential.
Wilk, a former Republican legislator who was appointed to the regents by Brownback, said more money will be needed to hit that target.
Currently, about 52 percent of Kansas adults have a degree or credential. The state produces 42,000 degrees and credentials per year, according to the regents. To get to the 60 percent level by 2020 will require 53,000 per year.
"At some point, you are going to have a resource question," Wilk said.
The 60 percent goal has been part of the regents' Foresight 2020 strategic plan that was originally adopted in 2010.
In announcing his support of that goal, Brownback made no mention of how much he thought it would cost to get there. He vowed to "provide stable funding for our universities, community and technology colleges."
Higher education funding in Kansas remains at below pre-recession levels and suffered another hit in 2013 when the Legislature passed and Brownback signed into law cuts to universities that resulted in Kansas University taking a $13.5 million cut.
This year, the Legislature and Brownback approved a budget that will restore approximately half of last year's approved "salary cap" cuts for the current budget year, and all of those that had been cut for the next budget year. That means an additional $4.07 million for the KU Medical Center, and $163,703 for the Lawrence campus. But the bill does not restore the 1.5 percent across-the-board cuts from 2013.