FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2013

BOARD RESPONDS TO FISCAL YEAR 2014 & 2015 BUDGETS

(Topeka) - Today, the Board of Regents Chair, Tim Emert, of Independence, issued the following statement in response to the budget recently passed by the Kansas Legislature:

"The Kansas public higher education system is vital to the growth of Kansas. The budget passed by the Kansas Legislature that will soon go before Governor Brownback, includes cuts to higher education that are damaging and in direct conflict with the pro-growth strategies, ideas, and desires of the Governor and the Kansas Board of Regents.

The public needs to understand that the higher education budget was not cut ‘just’ 1.5%. The total cuts to higher education are $48.7 million or 6.3% across two years, $23.3 million in Fiscal Year 2014 and $25.4 million in Fiscal Year 2015. These cuts impact all aspects of public higher education including the 32 public institutions, the Board of Regents office, student financial aid, and adult education programs. At a time when more Kansans are turning to higher education to improve their lives, these cuts will be devastating.

One of the most damaging aspects of this budget is the salary provision, which introduces arbitrary cuts. The dollar amounts included in the salary provision were based on a snapshot in time and on balances with absolutely no regard to the business of running a university. The salary provision is bad public policy and we urge the Governor to exercise his veto power.

We also encourage the Governor to begin immediate exploration on opportunities to restore the loss of state funding for higher education. If Kansans, the Governor, and the Legislature expect world-class higher education opportunities, these cuts need to be restored."

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About the Kansas Board of Regents:

The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents, founded in 1925 and established in the Kansas Constitution, is the governing board of the six state universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (six state universities, one municipal university, 19 community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, career and technical education programs, and the state university retirement plans. The Board also approves private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions to operate in Kansas, and administers the Kan-ed network, a statewide network that provides broadband Internet access and distance learning capabilities for schools, hospitals, and libraries.

For more information, contact Mary Jane Stankiewicz at (785) 296-3421 or at mjstankiewicz@ksbor.org.