Monday, January 30, 2017

Budget crunch puts community colleges in tough spot - CHRIS DUNKER, Lincoln Journal Star

A proposal by Gov. Pete Ricketts to slash state aid to Nebraska’s community colleges this year will negatively affect the state’s future workforce and economic development, one college president said. Greg Smith, president of Central Community College, said Tuesday Ricketts has not engaged leaders at the state’s six community colleges “in meaningful dialogue” on his proposal to cut 4 percent from their 2016-17 budgets. “It is an open question whether he understands community college’s crucial role in the Nebraska economy,” Smith said in an email, adding the vast majority of “new jobs” in the state will require two-year degrees offered by the community college system. Nebraska’s six community colleges were set to receive a total of $100.8 million in state aid this year, the second of a two-year budget approved by lawmakers in 2015.

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