The governor has withheld another $1.9 million from funding for the state’s community colleges. That returns funding to a 7 percent decrease.
As enrollment in Missouri’s community colleges grows, funding for them shrinks, and the Missouri Community College Association says that presents big challenges. Executive Director Zora Mulligan says funding is back to where it was in 2000, and though enrollment is up 10 percent, more tuition doesn’t make up for the cuts.
Mulligan says state budget leaders were up front at the beginning of the process in saying decreases were imminent, so most community colleges were bracing for cuts up to 15 percent.
She says next year schools will continue to be realistic as well as optimistic, knowing they’ll be sharing the pain with everyone is suffering funding cuts right now.
She says with more students and less resources to serve them, open enrollment isn’t so much “open” anymore. Classes fill up and there are no resources to expand.