TOPEKA — The House Appropriations Committee voted to insert in the budget for state universities a mandatory tuition rebate to students based on the number of classes taught online and the academic days dropped from the calendar during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time across the street in Topeka, the Kansas Board of Regents was involved in meetings to discuss how the six public universities would deal with a pandemic-driven revenue collapse by dropping academic programs, terminating employees or making other spending adjustments. The Board of Regents agreed to a request from the University of Kansas to extend until July 1 the deadline for deciding whether to utilize a new policy making it easier to dismiss tenured faculty in wake of a projected $72 million budget shortfall at KU.
Rep. Sean Tarwater, a Stillwell Republican who has objected to K-12 remote learning and asked if Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas, public school districts could be stripped of COVID-19 aid, triggered lively debate in the House budget committee by proposing state universities retroactively refund to students 100% of tuition for every day academic instruction was called off. In addition, his amendment would require a 50% tuition break for every course delivered online by the universities. The sanction wouldn’t apply to private colleges and universities nor the technical and community colleges.
Stay connected to the stories and events that make your community a special place to call home.
New subscribers only. You can cancel at any time.