Community Colleges and Budget Crisis

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Mississippi's budget crisis is taking its toll on this area's community colleges. They don't know how much money they'll be getting in the 2005-2006 fiscal year.

One of the proposals on the table takes several million dollars out of the state's secondary education budget. That money would go to help better fund elementary and high schools.

But community college officials say a cut in their funds would probably mean a tuition increase, which they would like to avoid.

"We're looking at several different options and putting together several different budgets so we can pick and choose, depending on what happens in the special session," said Dr. Phil Sutphin, president of East Central Community College in Decatur.

Gov. Haley Barbour is expected to call a special session for sometime in May so the Legislature can finally get a budget for the state.