Community colleges will actually be getting more money from the state this year. It will be a large enough increase to make a significant difference in the budget at East Central Community College in Decatur, for instance.
Officials there say most of the increase will go into a pay hike for teachers. Many of them actually make less than k-12 teachers right now.
"It's been pretty difficult to secure teachers because they can make more at a high school than they can here," said Linda Pierce, an English teacher at ECCC.
East Central President Dr. Phil Sutphin says the funding increase should prevent a tuition increase for students.
The funding increase for the state's community colleges amounts to about $21.5 million. That's a 12 percent increase from a year ago. The biggest portion of that will go into a pay raise for teachers, who will be getting a five percent hike.
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