PRCC working to counter budget cuts

PRCC working to counter budget cuts
Photo credit WDAM.

POPLARVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Administrators at Pearl River Community College are working to counter budget cuts.

PRCC President William Lewis said the school is being cautious.

"We're being very cautious, but honestly we're backed into a corner where some really hard decisions have to be made," said Lewis.

The budget for community colleges across the state was cut over 10 percent.

According to Lewis, that number translates to $1.5 million for PRCC.

Lewis said it's the largest cut he's seen throughout his career.

According to Lewis, 10 years ago the school received 52 percent of their revenue from the state, now it's down to 37, and those numbers are before the cuts go into effect this year.

"It's shifting responsibility from the state, to the student," said Lewis.

PRCC came into the 2016-17 school with budget cuts. The school has seen its budget cut four times over the year.

"Going into this current fiscal year, we here at Pearl River had to cut 800-thousand dollars' worth of personnel in order to have a balanced budget. We also had a tuition increase coming into this year. It was a small increase, but nevertheless an increase in tuition," said Lewis.

The school expects to increase tuition again for the 2017-18 school, but Lewis said no plans have been finalized.

"We hope in the May board meeting to be able to offer to the board a tuition increase so we can give our students a little bit more time to prepare," said Lewis.

The school expects to finalize their budget in June.