Kansas Regents Propose Tuition Freeze in Return for Limited Budget Cuts
The Associated Press - March 13, 2009
TOPEKA - The Kansas Board of Regents agreed Thursday not to raise tuition for state residents if the Legislature limits proposed budget cuts and approves the use of federal stimulus dollars.
The board said the freeze would last for the 2009-10 school year. Some have feared a deep cut in higher education funding would force a big increase in tuition costs.
In return, the regents said they want assurances that lawmakers won't cut the higher education budget more than 7 percent. Also, lawmakers would have to agree to use $9.6 million in stimulus dollars in the current fiscal year and $40 million in fiscal year 2010 to offset some of the cuts.
But Senate Ways and Means Chairman Jay Emler said the regents wouldn't be treated differently from other state agencies. A subcommittee is recommending that the regents' budget be cut 10 percent.
"Everybody plays," said Emler, R-Lindsborg.
The House Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday against including stimulus dollars in the higher education budget. However, the panel's chairman said it simply wanted more information and the decision will be reconsidered.
Emler said what happens on the House or Senate floor during the debate on spending -- or in negotiations between the two chambers -- could change the regents' budget, but it's too soon to know what will happen.