Kansas Governor Announces Education Cuts After Creating A Budget Shortfall

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Kansas is facing a serious budget shortage due to earlier-than-expected tax returns and slashing income taxes, but now students will have to pay the price.

Gov. Sam Brownback announced he’s cutting funding for public schools and universities so the state can pay its bills. NPR reported public schools will lose 1.5 percent of their funding and universities will lose 2 percent.

The state will save $44.5 million but cutting the education budget, but even with the new budget-balancing bill approved by the predominantly Republican legislature, Kansas is expected to have a $600 million shortfall for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

In a statement released Feb. 5, Brownback said, “The dramatic increase in state education funding that has occurred over the last four years is unsustainable. School districts are estimated to have approximately $381 million in reserve fund balances to help them offset the smaller than expected increase in state funding. The Kansas Department of Education should work with school districts to help them with any cash flow challenges that may arise.”

Brownback’s budget balancing bill will also divert funds from highway projects and special funds.

Source: NPR / Image via US Department of Education/Flickr