It's a struggle today for college students to pay their tuition. As costs continue to rise, states are backing away from funding higher education. Steve Kraske talks with the co-author of a recent report on this very problem. They look at why lawmakers in so many states are turning their backs on helping students get their degrees.
Attorneys for the group that sued Kansas over school funding have issued a statement critical of the plan the Legislature sent to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Sunday.
Attorney John Robb expressed concerns that the plan shifts money from some programs for at-risk students, allows more well-to-do districts to increase local funding, and reduces revenues that could go for schools by offering tax credits for private school scholarships.
The Kansas House has passed an education spending bill on a bipartisan 91-31 vote. The measure includes around $100 million in additional education funding. The bill would create an education study committee and would change teacher certification rules.
"This is a very good combination of strong policy that will help our schools use money efficiently or give us ideas. And it's a strong policy in meeting the court's test that they want us to equalize our funding here in the state," says Rep. Marvin Kleeb, a Republican from Overland Park.
The Kansas Senate has advanced a plan to respond to a state Supreme Court ruling on education funding.
The court said lawmakers created inequalities between school districts by cutting certain types of education funds. The bill would shift money into funds aimed at reducing those disparities. Dollars would be moved from school transportation as well as other areas of the budget.
Sen. Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican, said they are prioritizing spending.
The Kansas House Appropriations Committee will start hearings Monday on a budget bill to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling over education funding. But it looks like the issues in the bill will stretch beyond just school spending.
The budget bill before the committee includes other policy items like rewriting teacher licensure rules. Chairman Marc Rhoades, a Newton Republican, told committee members last week about the broad scope of the discussion.
This week, a Kansas House committee could consider a bill to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling on education funding. It comes after the process got off to a rocky start last week.
The bill would increase money for certain education funds that are aimed at reducing disparities between districts. But the bill includes other education policy changes, and the lawmaker who introduced it included an expansion of charter schools in the proposal.
Gov. Sam Brownback met with education officials and some top Republican lawmakers Monday to discuss school finance. The gathering comes as the Kansas Supreme Court considers a lawsuit over education spending and lawmakers prepare for the 2014 legislative session.
Brownback says the closed-door meeting was aimed at bringing together his office, education officials that represent local districts and lawmakers. He says those groups have not always seen eye-to-eye on the issue of education funding, leading to lawsuits.
A group of Kansas lawmakers will begin visiting college and university campuses this week to talk budget issues. The visits come in the wake of nearly $50 million in budget cuts over two years passed by legislators.
Lawmakers have said they want to talk to university officials about efficiency and how they spend money. Gov. Sam Brownback, who opposed the funding cuts, says he wants lawmakers to learn more about the role of higher education in Kansas and the impact of the cuts.
The first Kansas legislative session since 1861 to extend into June is over. But the budget plan passed early Sunday is a frustration for a number of agencies and institutions; one is the Kansas University Medical Center.
Officials aren’t yet sure what the new budget will mean; in a speech this spring, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little worried about a projected cut and the wide reach, particularly on the university’s satellite operations.
Kansas lawmakers are considering a change to the state Constitution in response to lawsuits over school funding.
About eight years ago, a lawsuit ended with an agreement to increase spending on students, but lawmakers cut back when the economy slowed, rekindling the legal battle. Legislators could soon start work on a constitutional amendment, so only they will be able to determine what is a suitable level of funding.