Two hundred forty-five Washburn students face losing $320,000 in financial aid.
That is just the tip of the more-than-$5 million iceberg of financial aid melting away from students that attend public universities in Kansas.
The Kansas Senate recently passed a bill, that if backed by the House and signed by Gov. Brownback, will strip $5.3 million in financial aid to public universities, including Washburn, and reallocate the funds to private universities.
If this bill passes, 3,500 students at public universities will lose financial aid, and 1,500 private students will gain from it. Let it be clear that $5.3 million helps less than half the amount of students when given to private universities than if it is given to public universities.
But financial inefficiency and irresponsibility aside, there is also the issue of using public money to fund private, mostly religious, institutions.
Should taxpayer money go toward private grade schools and high schools?
It is just appalling (although maybe we should be calloused to these type of stunts by now) that more than $5 million of public money can be given to religious organizations, not only because of the principle of the matter, but because doing so throws 3,500 students under the bus and helping out less than half that, many of whom are already well-off to begin with.
Private schools, specifically universities, being for the rich or gifted is not a stereotype without reason. If a person wants to shell out incredibly more money to go to a private school, that is his or her prerogative. But should everybody else have to make sacrifices to ease the burden they willingly put on themselves?