Governor Stresses Need For Stable Funding For Higher Ed

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Kansas State University officials and students are applauding Governor Sam Brownback for his continued efforts to prevent cuts to the higher education system.

The governor is taking part in meetings at Regents institutions across Kansas. He visited K-State Monday morning, meeting with administrators, faculty and staff members and students, discussing the importance of state funding for higher education.

Brownback wants legislators to keep funding for the state's universities, community colleges and technical schools "stable" in the 2014 budget.

"We’re asking for more from higher education in the state of Kansas. We’re asking them to increase the number of engineering graduates 50 %, we’re asking them to get their rankings up in the veterinary school and medical school and in aviation research. We’re asking for more technical education in the state of Kansas and we’re getting it," he said. "Now would be a momentum killer to cut the funding for higher education. That’s why I think we need to have it stable. We need to have these institutions growing. They are key parts of the fabric of the Kansas family."

The House is seeking a 4-percent cut and the Senate a 2-percent cut to higher education.

Brownback says he is encouraging legislators to spend more time looking at the Regents’ budgets.

"We can do both- we can fund what we need to in the state of Kansas, we can fund education, we can have stable funding for higher education and get in a pro-growth tax position. We can do both. And that’s what I’m asking of the legislature... I'm looking forward to having legislature come back in on Wednesday and I’m hopeful we can resolve this issue and have good strong funding for the regents ," he said.

Eli Schooley, K-State Student Body President, added: "It’s something students are talking about a lot on our campus right now. Students are worried about the increasing cost of tuition. It’s gone up every year recently and it’s something that we think about almost very day. So I think that moving forward, it’s important that we continue to prioritize higher education. It’s important that we continue to see the effects that will have on our university and on our overall educational experience if we don’t prioritize it and if we don’t fund it."

"We think it’s a great budget proposal and allows us to have a stable budget and stable funding and move ahead with K-State 2025 and our so plans so that we can be a larger, more important economic driver for the future of the state of Kansas," added K-State President Kirk Schulz.

Governor Brownback will be at Fort Hays State University on Tuesday, along with a stop to the University of Kansas School of Medicine's Salina campus.He met last month with school and student leaders at Wichita State University, Butler Community College, University of Kansas, Pittsburg State University, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City Community College, Washburn University, Washburn Institute of Technology and Emporia State University.

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