Junior colleges push for increased funding

Published 12:30 am Saturday, January 22, 2011

Money — for students, salaries and capital improvements — tops the legislative wish list of Mississippi’s community and junior colleges as the fiscal 2012 budget preparation season gets under way in Jackson.

Priority No. 1 is per-student funding that is midway between what the state spends on K-12 education and what goes to the state’s public universities, Hinds president Dr. Clyde Muse said at a meeting of HCC officials on the Raymond campus this week.

Muse, the legislative chairman of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges, is not asking for a redistribution of state education funds, Vicksburg campus Dean Hilton Dyar said.

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“He is not in favor of taking money away from the universities or the K-12 systems,” Dyar said Thursday. “That’s not what it’s about. The K-12 is the foundation of our educational system and needs all the help it can get.”

But the community colleges need to be adequately funded, too, Dyar said.