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Kansas Universities Join Forces To Seek More Funding From The State

Several Kansas universities are joining forces to make an appeal for higher education spending to be restored after two years of multimillion-dollar budget cuts.

Officials at Washburn University, Kansas State University and the University of Kansas say they won't be shy about arguing for stronger state investment in higher education.

They want to see lawmakers restore $23 million dollars in the current fiscal year and $25 million dollars that was scheduled to be withdrawn in the upcoming fiscal year.

Kansas State president Kirk Schulz says higher education means a better-educated workforce. And "If we cannot produce the workforce that industry needs, they will go elsewhere."

Bernadette Gray-Little with KU says thriving universities were a major component in the quest to draw companies and innovators to the state.

Washburn University President Jerry Farley says Gov. Sam Brownback's proposal to deliver state government aid to districts for all-day kindergarten throughout Kansas was a good sign.

Brownback has vowed to push for about $80 million necessary to expand kindergarten offerings, but he has yet to make a firm public commitment about reversal of the higher education cuts.