higher education

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A Kansas Senate committee has voted to restore some funding to higher education. Cuts were made to state colleges and universities earlier this fiscal year.

Gov. Sam Brownback had proposed adding millions of dollars in the coming two years to a state scholarship fund. As part of the Senate budget plan, the new money would instead be diverted and used to restore some funding to the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.

kansasregents.org

Kansas higher education officials say in three years, the state needs thousands more students graduating college. Today, the Board of Regents will take a step towards that goal.

Right now about 40,000 students in Kansas are awarded a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree or some kind of certification each year.

That number, the state says, needs to bump up to 53,000. To meet the need of businesses in the state, 40 percent will need to be four-year degrees, and the rest will need to be two-year degrees or certificates.

Michael Long, flickr Creative Commons

In his State of the State speech Tuesday, Gov. Sam Brownback threw down a gauntlet for state universities: Come up with a $15,000 bachelor's degree. In the education world, almost nobody saw that coming.

But now that the idea for a bargain bachelor's is out there, it's up to the Kansas Board of Regents to try and make it a reality.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

Legislators from south-central Kansas gathered Thursday at Wichita State University for a public forum, the second one this week.

The forum began with a look at the state's projected $350 million budget shortfall for this fiscal year.

J.G. Scott, assistant director of fiscal affairs for the Kansas Legislative Research Department, told lawmakers that neither reversing the state's income tax exemptions nor increasing sales tax rates would fill the hole for 2017.

He gave two options for balancing the budget.

The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas

The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas is launching a new job-training program that’s designed to get more people into the advanced manufacturing industry.

The Workforce Alliance is coordinating a tuition-free training program that’s expected to start next spring. The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $6 million grant for the project.

Students at Wichita State University, Hutchinson Community College and Wichita Area Technical College will be able to get paid on-the-job training at area manufacturers in addition to their classroom education.

Jimmy Wayne, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Board of Regents has approved Wichita State University’s proposal to offer in-state tuition to students from the Kansas City, Missouri, metro area.

The university already offers in-state benefits to students from certain areas in Oklahoma and Texas as a way to boost overall enrollment and develop economic relationships in those areas.

At the board's meeting Wednesday, WSU President John Bardo said the tuition break has helped boost the number of students coming from those states.

k-state.edu

Richard Myers, a retired four-star Air Force general and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, will be Kansas State University's president as it wrestles with budget problems and the possibility that students, staff and visitors will be allowed to carry concealed guns into its buildings next year.

The Kansas Board of Regents on Tuesday voted unanimously to promote Myers from interim president, a job he's held since April at the land-grant university in Manhattan, which has about 24,000 students.

heritagecollege.edu

Another for-profit college that has campuses in Kansas has closed its doors: Heritage College unexpectedly stopped operations Tuesday.

Heritage College announced on its website that, "with great disappointment," it is permanently closing its 10 campuses, including ones in Wichita and Kansas City. In the statement, the school says it "does not have the cash to continue to run its business."

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

The State of Kansas is requiring students to pay a greater share of higher education costs than ever before.

According to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Kansas Center for Economic Growth, higher education in Kansas is in trouble. The report found state funding for regents universities is 17 percent less than it was in 2008. Community colleges are also receiving less funding, which puts a higher cost burden on students at those schools.

kansasregents.org

Members of the Kansas Board of Regents have approved the higher education budget request they’ll send to the Legislature.

The main priorities are to avoid any additional budget cuts and restore the $30 million cut to higher ed put in place earlier this year. The proposal also asks lawmakers for $20 million more for maintenance projects. Regent Joe Bain says they wanted to offer a realistic request.

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