Education funding | KCUR

Education funding

Every college in Kansas is more expensive today than it was a decade ago.

Tuition and fees haven’t gone up every year — this year, the Kansas Board of Regents convinced most of the state’s universities to hold tuition flat — but that doesn’t change how expensive college has become.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Missouri students spending more money to earn degrees want to know they’re making a sound investment in their future. That’s why college administrators have started steering them toward in-demand professions like education and nursing, where they’re all but guaranteed jobs. 

It’s a pathway to get students to and through college with less debt when they graduate. But some students and professors say Missouri’s colleges and universities still have an obligation to provide a well-rounded liberal arts education, and are tired of having to defend their majors every time state lawmakers propose another round of cuts.

David Kovaluk / St. Louis Public Radio

On any given weekday, University of Missouri student Jack Hale is working six to eight hours and dashing to class in between. 

“I wake up a little after five and I do not stop until 11 p.m. most days,” Hale says. Between a full load of classes and two jobs taking up nearly 40 hours a week, he barely gets enough sleep.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Rachel Shriver is set to graduate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City next year but she’s already thinking about how her two kids are going to pay for college a decade from now. 

She’s had a tough path to this point: She had her first kid when she was young and most of her family never made it to college. “I'm just hoping to have a better life with my kids … that’s the whole reason I’m in school,” Shriver said.

Segment 1: New data analysis of Kansas City's public school environment.

A new analysis shows public and charter schools in Kansas City are more segregated, more expensive to operate, and more complicated than they were 20 years ago. We talked with two officials behind the report about these issues and others, and discussed possible solutions. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell has signed another three-year contract.

Approving the contract was the last act of the outgoing, nine-member school board, which met in closed executive session before Wednesday’s board meeting when the new, seven-member board was sworn in.

Segment 1: Supreme Court decision involving Wayfair.com has lawmakers looking at making online retailers collect state sales tax.

With the state revenue in Missouri short by about $300 million, legislators are considering making online retailers, not residents, calculate, collect and remit the sales tax for purchases made on their websites. Brick-and-mortar businesses in the Show-Me State could benefit from the move as well by having a more level playing field on which to compete.

Segment 1: "The state was funding 60 percent of the cost of education, the students and families were doing 40 percent. We've now seen an inversion of those ratios," according to KU chancellor.

More than 700,000 working-age adults in Kansas are operating in the labor force with no relevant postsecondary credentials, while the demand for highly skilled workers continues to rise. The Chancellor Doug Girod spoke to what universities, government and businesses can do to produce the workforce the future Kansas City metro will need.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: The cost of higher education has shot up faster than family income in recent decades.

Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

One of the first major policy issues introduced in the Missouri General Assembly every year is K-12 education funding, which takes up a fifth of the state budget.