Parkinson announces spending cuts; public schools, universities lose out

Public schools and universities are the big losers in the latest round of state spending cuts announced today by Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson.

K-12 schools will lose an additional $39 million, or 2 percent.

The state’s public universities will lose 2 percent too, or $15 million.

Other state agencies – executive branch offices, the Department on Aging, Department of Labor, etc – will lose 2 percent.

Social services, law enforcement and corrections saw no significant cuts.

The cuts to schools and universities were expected, as they together eat up more state dollars than any other program. Parkinson said any additional cuts to social services would have crippled those programs.

The state spending cuts amount to $90 million. Parkinson said the state will generate another $69 million through new federal money and accounting manuevers (skipping some transfers of money to the state’s highway department, for instance).

The spending reductions were necessitated by lower-than-expected revenue figures month after month, which left the state's two-day-old budget with a $160 million deficit.

On Monday, Parkinson will ask top state lawmakers to approve $700 million in internal loans to get the state through its most recent cash flow crunch. The money - borrowed from state funds with healthy balances - will enable the state to send out payments to local school districts and final tax refunds, both of which were delayed when the state ran out of money last month.