Kansas Regents: Any Additional Cuts To Higher Education Detrimental To State Economy

May 2, 2016

The Kansas Board of Regents will take another $17 million cut under the budget passed early Monday morning by the Legislature.

The Kansas Board of Regents Monday issued a strong statement after the Legislature approved a budget that cuts $17 million out of higher education next year. The Regents say the cut is shortsighted and will damage the state's economy.

“To extend any cuts into next year would be detrimental to the future prosperity of Kansas,” Chairman Shane Bangerter said.

The $17 million cut, about 3 percent of the Regent's budget, comes on top of another $17 million reduction made by Gov. Sam Brownback after March revenues came in way below estimate.

The pain of those cuts was shared equally by all six universities. Each had 3 percent trimmed from their current budgets.

Lawmakers decided to make the cut based on each school's total budget, including money from federal grants.  That means the University of Kansas and Kansas State University will take a bigger hit. KU will lose $5.2 million and K-State will lose $4.1 million. Each school will lose about a million dollars more than if the cuts were across-the-board, the Regents say.

The Regents suggest that the Legislature is micro-managing their budget. "Article 6 of the state constitution grants control and supervision of Kansas public institutions of higher education to the Board of Regents," the statement says.

Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR. He's also co-host of KCUR's political podcast Statehouse Blend. Follow him on Twitter @samzeff.