Governor Recommends Partial Restoration of Higher Education Budget Cuts as Well as New Targeted Investments

Yesterday, Governor Brownback presented his revised budget recommendations to the legislature (the full Budget Brief can be found here).  Among those proposed revisions are partial restoration of the FY14 and FY15 higher education budget cuts passed last legislative session. Included in the proposal is $8.33 million in new funding for targeted higher education investments – including a new $1 million annual enhancement for PSU’s proposed Center for Career Technical Education Teacher Development and Innovation  (CTE-TDI). Here’s the breakdown of the Governor’s higher education budget recommendations:

FY2014

  • 50% pro rata restoration of “salary cap” ($5.1M), distributed as follows:
    • FHSU – $0
    • KSU – $949,829
    • KSU-ESARP – $1.5M
    • ESU – $572,488
    • PSU – $0
    • KU – $77,935
    • KUMC – $1.7M
    • WSU – $281,267
  • Tiered Technical Education for High School Students – fully fund current estimate ($9.25M)

FY2015

  • 100% restoration of University “salary cap” ($5.8M)
  • Tiered Technical Education for High School Students – fully fund current estimate ($15.25M)
  • Targeted Enhancements:
    • Pittsburg State University – Center for CTE Teacher Development & Innovation ($1M)
    • Fort Hays State – Information Systems Engineering ($760,111)
    • Emporia State – Honors College ($1M)
    • Kansas State University – School of Architecture ($1.5M)
    • University of Kansas – Kansas Institute for Translational Chemical Biology ($2M)
    • KU Medical Center – Rural Health Bridging Program ($70,000)
    • Wichita State – Technology Transfer Facility ($2M)

In total, Governor Brownback’s recommendations would add or restore $14,4M in higher education spending for FY14 and $29.5M for FY15. While we are pleased with the inclusion of the proposed targeted investments, absent from the recommendations is the hoped for restoration of the 1.5% cut incurred by Kansas universities for both the current fiscal year and in FY15.  For PSU this cut represents more than $500,000 in our base operating budget. Our advocacy this session will focus on support for these revised recommendations as well as full restoration of the 1.5% cut in FY15.

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