Junior College Leaders Optimistic Over State Funding

For the past 6 years community colleges have seen a drop in state funding, meanwhile every other educational institution has seen a sizeable increase. Now, area community college leaders are working to reverse this trend.

Right now more than 50 percent of all the undergraduate students enrolled in higher education in Mississippi are enrolled at the community college level. However, since the year 2000 state funding for community colleges has decreased almost 4 percent. Meanwhile state support for k-12 and universities have increased. This puts community colleges such as JCJC and Pearl River Community College in a bind since they have seen an increase in students, without a rise in state funding.

Junior college leaders are seeking midlevel funding from the state legislature, which would raise state support per student from 26 hundred dollars to 48 hundred dollars. For colleges such as PRCC and JCJC this means increased salaries for teachers and updates to facilities to accommodate larger student populations.