Community College Capitol Day

Mississippi's fifteen community colleges are focusing on their funding needs during the annual Capitol Day in Jackson.

The institutions are lobbying lawmakers for better funding. Both faculty and students are participating.

Community colleges are seeking mid-level funding, halfway between K-12 education and the regional public universities. Two-year schools say they are getting only getting 52 percent of the funding formula that was promised in 2007.

"Mid-Level Funding is a means to keep tuition affordable, to recruit and retain quality faculty, and prepare more students for work. It is also simple fairness," said Dr. Eric Clark, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board.

Community colleges enroll more than 80,000 students, including 56 percent of all undergraduates and half of all students, including graduate students, taking a credit course.