Bryant’s proposed budget could mean higher tuition at two-year schools

JACKSON — The leaders of Mississippi’s community college system say that the 5.5 percent cut in their budget proposed by Gov. Phil Bryant could lead to higher tuition, bigger classes and more part-time instructors.

They say any decrease in funding would only aggravate a money crisis that the colleges have been struggling with, as the recession drove more students into classrooms at the same time state appropriations have fallen.

While the Legislature’s own budget proposal proposes to hold community college funding level at $233.3 million, Bryant wants to cut it to $220.4 million. That’s the standard 5.5 decrease he has proposed for most state functions.

The college system is asking for $314.8 million, including part of a long-promised funding increase, plus $11.5 million to add worker training for high school dropouts.

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