Attorney: Allowing Community Colleges To Offer Four-Year Degrees Might Violate State Constitution

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Allowing community colleges to award four-year degrees might violate the Michigan constitution, an attorney told the state Senate Education Committee.

Members taking testimony on a bill allowing the two-year schools to offer bachelor's degrees in a handful of subjects heard familiar objections from administrators representing state universities, but attorney Leonard Wolfe surprised them.

Wolfe, head of government policy practice for the Dykema-Gossett firm, told senators on Wednesday that the constitution clearly spells out the roles, governance, and funding methods for K-12 districts, community colleges and state universities.

The constitution, he said, states that colleges offering two-year degrees have locally elected boards, collect local property taxes and have oversight from the state Board of Educations.

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