Barton Community College President Dr. Carl Heilman will join three other community college presidents in advising legislators on the state’s next funding model for higher education.
Heilman said the state is looking at "re-centering" the funding formula for higher education based on real costs. "Community colleges have accepted the model knowing it could be risky after re-centering," Heilman told the college’s board of trustees at last week’s board study session. But if it means making sure "colleges are being funding on the same units of service," Heilman said, "I think it’s a positive development."
One aspect of funding based on actual costs is a formula based on tiers, which was proposed by the Postsecondary Technical Education Authority. According to Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to improve career and technical education, released Jan. 9: "For tiered technical education classes, the budget recommendation is $46.9 million in Fiscal Year 2012 and $54.9 million in FY 2013. Included in the FY 2013 recommendation for tiered classes is an investment of an additional $8 million. For non-tiered non-technical classes, the governor recommends $79.8 million in both FY 2012 and FY 2013."
On Jan. 13, Kansas Board of Regents’ Chair Ed McKenchnie, of Arcadia, issued a statement in response to the release of Brownback’s FY 2013 budget recommendations:
"The 32 Kansas public higher education institutions are vital to the economic success of our state and our citizens. Gov. Brownback’s budget includes funding for targeted improvements, program expansion, and research enhancements across the higher education system enabling institutions to remain competitive, while ensuring students receive a state-of-the-art education. The governor also provides funding that will improve access to higher education through student financial assistance programs and promoting career technical education opportunities at the high school level. We extend our appreciation to the governor in recognizing the importance of higher education, and look forward to working with the governor and the Legislature in the coming months."