FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2016
State Funding for Higher Education Crucial to the Future of Kansas
(Topeka, Kansas) - Each Fall, the Kansas Board of Regents carries out its statutory responsibility to develop and submit to the Governor and Legislature a unified request for state appropriations for all postsecondary education. Today the Board approved this Unified State Appropriations Request for FY 2018 and FY 2019.
While past requests have focused on funding increases requested for systemwide initiatives which have experienced increased enrollment, alongside possible enhancements which would allow for each institution to improve university programs and initiatives, this year the Board is advocating – above all else – for no additional state funding reductions.
“It is critical to the Board that we do everything we can to communicate the role of our higher education system in addressing the workforce shortages Kansas will be facing if we don’t increase the number of Kansans who hold some type of postsecondary credential,” stated Zoe Newton, Chair of the Kansas Board of Regents. “We are requesting that the 2017 Legislature restore the $30.6 million which was cut from this current fiscal year, so funding amounts appropriated for the next two years reflect pre-allotment levels.”
As outlined in Foresight 2020, it is a major goal of the Board to increase the percentage of Kansans who have earned an industry-recognized technical certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree to at least 60 percent, if we are to prepare the workforce Kansas employers will need.
Since September 2010, the Kansas Board of Regents has been executing a 10-year strategic agenda for the state’s public higher education system. Entitled Foresight 2020, the plan sets long-range achievement goals to address attainment, economic alignment, and university excellence. These goals are seen as necessary for the economic prosperity of the state, and supported by meaningful metrics in order to ensure accountability.
Additionally, the Board will be forwarding for future consideration additional narrative information on the top budget priority authored by each state university, along with the request to fully-fund the state’s “Excel in Career Technical Education” initiative. On behalf of the state’s 26 coordinated colleges, the Board will also request $4 million for general education courses and $5.8 million for career technical education courses, following the current funding formula for state aid.
The Unified State Appropriations Request will now be sent to the Governor’s budget office.
About the Kansas Board of Regents:
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (six state universities, one municipal university, nineteen community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, high school equivalency, and career and technical education programs. Private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions are authorized by the Kansas Board of Regents to operate in Kansas.