Community Colleges Feel Budget Ax

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

Community colleges are seeing the same five percent, across the board cut as other state entities. Leaders are trying to figure out how their institutions will handle it.

There are three state-run community colleges in the WTOK viewing area, East Central in Decatur, East Mississippi in Scooba, and Meridian Community College.

Mississippi schools are feeling the budget cuts, all the way from elementary schools to colleges. No matter what level of education, the schools will have to review their budgets and make serious changes. MCC president, Dr. Scott Elliott, said the reduction hurts.

"Of course, it was a blow, to get a five percent cut, but it was something we did anticipate," Elliott said. "We've never had one come this early in the year. But we had planned for it in our budget. We put back a little contingency money."

Elliott said the contingency money won't be enough for the entirety of the cut. The school will be forced to evaluate expenses in other areas.

"We're going to have to look at travel, equipment, and supplies, and things like that in order to equalize our budget," Elliott said.

East Mississippi Community College will also be taking measures to ease the budget cut. The school will not offer pay raises this year and it's limiting hiring to essential positions.

MCC will take its own steps as well, but have one goal in mind, not to impact the personnel.

"I don't want to lay anybody off," said Elliott. "I don't want to reduce pay. That's a last resort. I just want to assure people we're going to keep on keeping on out here."

Who will be hurt worse by recent budget cuts in Mississippi?

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