Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lawmakers hear RCC budget concerns - Katherine Murphy, Larenburg Exchange

As one of the fastest-growing North Carolina community college two years running, Richmond Community College faces constraints more severe than similar institutions. RCC’s enrollment has increased by 71 percent to 2,400 over the last five years. State Sen. Bill Purcell and state Reps. Ken Goodman, Garland Pierce, and G.L. Pridgen joined RCC President Dale McInnis and college trustees this week to discuss the school’s growth and the limitations placed upon the college by state funding cuts. “We’ve had over 10 percent growth now two years in a row,” said McInnis. “You just can’t keep that pace up without adding space and resources, and when you’re facing budget cuts you can only hire a fraction of the faculty you need to meet that demand.” Unlike the university and public school systems, community colleges are funded based upon the previous year’s enrollment. More than $80 million in permanent cuts were made in the N.C. community college system’s budget last year, which included an 8.5 percent cut in RCC’s budget. This, combined with the school’s rate of growth, makes maintaining and increasing the current quality of education a seemingly impossible endeavor.

Read more: The Laurinburg Exchange - Lawmakers hear RCC budget concerns

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