Friday, April 17, 2009

Regents put the squeeze on lawmakers

Since when is the Kansas Board of Regents interested in students? Apparently when it looks like their budget is going to get cut, they get interested in a hurry.

The Wichita Eagle has an article up today regarding the Regents promise to freeze tuition for a year if their budget isn't cut any further. Of course, that's a relative pipe dream because state revenue are continuing to fall beneath expectations.

Here's what I want to know... why all of the sudden is the Board of Regents interested in freezing tuition? Where were these people during the decade of eight and ten percent yearly increases? Oh, but cut my budget and all the sudden we care about tuition costs!

Here's the other side of the story: Kansas universities will be getting $50 million in "stimulus" money this year. But rather than take the one time money and use it for, oh, I don't know, one time projects, instead they want to use it to freeze tuition, and then hold that over the Legislature's head to keep the rest of their budget.

This is exactly why Democrats wanted the stimulus. Use the money for something like a tuition freeze and all of the sudden it becomes a mandate that the state will have to keep funding in the future.

I'd love for just one reporter to ask the Regents why this year, of all years, they have suddenly become interested in student's pocketbooks.

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