Operating Expenses: KCTCS will consider further reductions/reallocations to address budget shortfalls in the following areas:
- programs and services
- faculty and staff
- maintenance of buildings and grounds
- technology and equipment
- travel and meetings
- professional development
Tuition Revenue: Because the only sources of recurring revenue for KCTCS are state appropriation and tuition, there may be no choice but to raise tuition in FY2017 and beyond to offset required budget reductions. The current in-state tuition rate is $147 per semester credit hour. To offset the $17,114,600 budget reduction for KCTCS as proposed by the Governor, our tuition rate would need to be raised to $160 per semester credit hour in FY17, an increase of 8.8%.
KCTCS Position on the Governor’s Proposed State Budget
KCTCS has always been and will continue to be an outcomes-based institution. As such, KCTCS supports the Governor’s call for outcomes-based funding for postsecondary education and will work hard to earn every state dollar appropriated by the Kentucky General Assembly. However, meeting expectations for better outcomes will be especially difficult for KCTCS to achieve with reduced state funding since we educate and train the bulk of Kentucky students who require remediation to successfully complete college-level courses. Instead of more reductions in state funding, KCTCS needs more funding to meet the needs of today’s employers.
EFFICIENCY AND PRODUCTIVITY
KCTCS is Kentucky’s most efficient and productive postsecondary education institution. According to the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), most of the state’s gain in postsecondary educational attainment has been due to the increased enrollment and credentials generated by KCTCS. With declining enrollment that results in lost tuition revenue, and seven state budget reductions since 2008, KCTCS has instituted multiple cost-savings measures, including eliminating 262 positions in 2015.
INVESTING IN KCTCS
Kentucky is one of only a handful of states that has not begun to reinvest in higher education since the end of the recession. The Governor’s proposed budget reductions will put Kentucky further behind and significantly impact our ability to produce the highly skilled workforce necessary to compete for new business and industry and the expansion of existing companies. If the Governor’s proposed cuts are instituted on top of the $39 million KCTCS has been cut since 2008, this will create a total cut of $56 million. Due to the limited sources of recurring revenue for KCTCS compared to the four-year public universities, state budget reductions are more difficult to absorb and impact us more deeply and more quickly. It is our hope that, at a minimum, our state budget remains whole without further proposed budget reductions.
KCTCS is Kentucky’s most affordable postsecondary institution. The annual cost of full-time enrollment for one academic year (30 semester credit hours) at KCTCS is $4,530 compared to an average of $8,031 at the six comprehensive universities; $10,616 at UK; and, $10,432 at UofL. KCTCS is committed to keeping education affordable. In fact, KCTCS was the only public postsecondary institution in the state to freeze tuition for 2015-16. However, with reduced state funding it will be very difficult to avoid raising tuition to a level that may be unaffordable for many Kentuckians. Increased tuition also means increased student loan debt for many KCTCS students who already believe they cannot afford college. This is essentially a tax that creates an additional barrier for students, which means fewer will complete the programs needed to supply workers to business and industry.
KCTCS is different from four-year universities because of its mission to address the workforce needs in Kentucky – the need that the Governor intends to resolve. KCTCS is a lean, efficient and effective organization with a unique mission to provide business and industry with workforce training not offered by other postsecondary institutions. We need the General Assembly to reinvest in KCTCS so we can continue to meet our mission of improving the quality of life and employability of the citizens of the Commonwealth.