Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, says next year he's going to propose a higher education budget that's "substantially" larger that it's been in recent years.
Nixon made that promise Monday to a group of higher education officials meeting in Jefferson City, Mo., though he won't say yet how high his proposed budget hike will be. He also says his higher budget proposal could be rendered moot if this year's failed income tax cut legislation is revived next year.
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 Kansas Board of Regents has approved a budget request that asks for restoration of millions of dollars in cuts. Lawmakers cut more than $30 million from the higher education budget last legislative session.
The cuts to higher education were made to across-the-board spending, and funding for salaries.
Lawmakers passed a two-year budget last session, but members of the Board or Regents said they have a responsibility to advocate for increased investment in higher ed. The regents backed off a proposal that would have promised flat tuition if the cuts were reversed.
In earlier generations, getting an education meant going to class, sitting in a classroom or lecture hall listening to the professor, and participating in discussions. Now, something as simple as raising your hand in class, or asking your neighbor to borrow a pen could become obsolete. In the growing phenomena of online education, thousands of students are logging into class, and instead of going to a physical building, they participate from the comfort of their home or local coffee shop.
Lawmakers and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback disagreed on higher education funding this legislative session.
Legislators passed a budget with more than $60 million in cuts over two years for the state's universities. In Kansas, the governor has the power of line item veto, which can sometimes be used to block cuts, but it looks like Brownback can't block the higher ed cuts.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback visited the University of Kansas campus yesterday, where he met with school officials and student leaders as part of a tour promoting higher education in the state.
Brownback called KU a "great innovation institution" and highlighted its role in the Kansas economy.
“We’ve really got some momentum moving forward in job creation off of our universities, providing excellence in education, which is a primary issue for us, and we want to keep that momentum growing,” said Brownback.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback will start a tour of the state's universities this week to pitch his funding proposal to lawmakers.
Brownback is pushing for mostly level funding for colleges and universities with some targeted increases, but legislators are considering cuts. Brownback says higher education has a connection to economic growth in Kansas.
University officials have painted a dim picture of what could happen if lawmakers pass budget cuts for the state's colleges and universities. The comments came during a meeting Wednesday of the Board of Regents in Topeka. The cuts could mean shuttering some medical school programs at the University of Kansas.
The heads of the universities say funding cuts of this magnitude would have a real impact. They say it would mean reducing staff and taking other actions that affect students and the education level of the Kansas workforce.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon pitched a nearly $26 billion budget to the state of Missouri during Monday’s State of the State Address. It includes spending increases for K-12 schools, higher education, and the proposed Medicaid expansion he’s been calling for since late November.
The bad news eased a bit for Missouri higher education this afternoon. Governor Nixon's office released a statement saying $40 million of the recommended funding cuts for next year will be restored to his budget.
The current job market is very competitive. A single opening will see hundreds of applicants, a lot of them with four years of college on their résumés. But, how important is that degree when compared to technical skills, or on the job training? Is a bachelor’s degree worth what it once was?