Louisiana community college bill shaking foundations of higher ed

Matt Zalaznick's picture
Thursday, May 23, 2013

In the past five hard years of higher education’s declining state support, rising tuition, defecting faculty and deteriorating facilities, college leaders have stuck together and let the Board of Regents coordinate their requests for funding from the Legislature. A lot of good that did them.

Now the community college system, the only one growing in enrollment, has had enough of standing in line. In the most audacious power play of the legislative session, one that is shaking the foundations of higher education, the two-year colleges are close to pulling off a $250 million end run on established procedure in order to build 28 training and technology centers all around the state

Supporters hail the plan as essential to training a skilled workforce to fill technical jobs in high-demand areas. Opponents call it a debt-ceiling buster that violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the constitution and robs four-year colleges of badly needed resources.

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