TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas universities are uniting in an appeal to restore slashed higher education spending. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that political debate about the future of taxpayer financing of the 32-school Kansas Board of Regents system returns to the forefront in mid-January when the 2014 Legislature assembles in Topeka. Officials at Washburn University, Kansas State University and the University of Kansas say they won't be shy about laying down arguments at the Capitol for stronger state investment in higher education. They want to see the restoration of $23 million in the current fiscal year and $25 million that was scheduled to be withdrawn in the upcoming fiscal year. Kansas State president Kirk Schulz says industry will go elsewhere if the state can't produce the workforce it needs.