Thursday, January 18, 2018

$72 Million in Proposed Cuts to Universities and KCTCS

| Post by Perry Papka | 

Governor Bevin’s executive budget proposes cuts to every Kentucky public postsecondary institution’s general fund support.

Overall, the plan calls for a net reduction of $72.1 million from the current 2018 fiscal year to 2019, dropping from $887 million in 2018 general fund revenue to $815 million for 2019, as shown below.

That 2019 overall reduction comes in two parts. First, the line item for every school is cut. Second, the schools will have no opportunity to qualify for performance-based funding that could increase those line items. The 2018 budget included $42.9 million that could be (and now has been) distributed to schools based on selected measures of their results.

The Governor’s 2020 proposal makes two further changes. The budget lines for all the institutions are reduced by a total of $7.7 million, and a performance-based funding pool of exactly $7.7 million is added. In effect, the budget provides the same dollars, but with added pressure to change outcomes.

The Governor’s proposal does include significant new support for capital projects at postsecondary institutions. The Postsecondary Education Asset Preservation Pool is created and funded with $300 million in bonds over the biennium. These funds are to be used for asset preservation, renovation and maintenance at the various campuses. The bonds will be supported by General Fund debt service totaling $25.4 million over the biennium.

Finally, the proposal eliminates general fund support for a number of programs. Initiatives housed at higher education institutions that are slated to receive no funding include:

  • The Community Operations Board at Eastern
  • The Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead
  • The Kentucky Center for Mathematics at Northern
  • University Press, Center for Entrepreneurship, Hospital Direct Support, Agriculture Public Service, Robinson Scholars, and Mining Engineering Scholarships, all at the University of Kentucky
  • The Kentucky Mesonet at Western
  • Kentucky Coal Academy and Adult Agriculture funding at KCTCS

Beyond the $72 million cuts to institutional budgets, a set of programs implemented through the Council on Postsecondary Education are also slated to receive no general fund support. Those include:

  • The Lung Cancer Research Fund
  • The Ovarian Cancer Screening Outreach Program
  • Washington D.C. Internships
  • Professional Education Preparation
  • Minority Student College Preparation
  • The Autism Training Center
  • The Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholars

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