Community colleges hope for promised funding

JACKSON — Eric Clark, executive director of the Mississippi community college board, hopes that next year is the year the Legislature makes progress on its 2007 promise of mid-level funding for community colleges.

That might seem optimistic given that the first estimates for the fiscal 2013 budget are based on only 0.7 percent revenue growth. A state economist has said that cuts are inevitable for some agencies.

Clark told the Hattiesburg American there are positive economic signs that the state is breaking out of the recession, as evidenced by the fact that tax collections have surpassed legislative estimates.

Clark passed around a handout that shows 52 percent of college students go to community colleges, even as the system only receives 27 percent of the funding compared to public universities.

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