Proposed higher education cuts raise concerns among colleges -

Proposed higher education cuts raise concerns among colleges

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Local colleges and universities are reacting to proposed cuts to higher education funding in Missouri.

In his 2018 budget unveiled on Monday, Governor Eric Greitens proposing a $68 million cut to higher education. in 2017, Greitens reduced funding to higher education by $24 million, prompting budget cuts and tuition hikes at schools across the state.

East Central College president, Dr. Jon Bauer told News 4, "When you go through that and you make those decisions and make those reductions in spending and then are hit with another round your first reaction is, so now what's left?"

In 2017 East Central College cut its budget by 9 percent, or $450,000 and raised tuition by $9 a credit hour. 

According to a spokesperson, last year's budget cuts forced Harris Stowe State University to raise tuition for the first time since the 2012-2013 school year. There's been no decision on how to respond to this year's cuts.

A spokesman for Jefferson College in Hillsboro said funding cuts by the state have reduced the school's budget to a level not seen since 2009. In preparation for cuts in 2018, the school is holding budget workshops on programs, revenue sources, employee benefits and other areas of possible savings. But another round of funding cuts has colleges worried.

"These cuts to community colleges, if enacted, will hurt workforce development across the state. We simply cannot grow our state's economy without a trained and educated workforce," said Roger Barrentine, Jefferson College director of marketing and public relations.

Dr. Bauer said he hopes the legislature scales back the cuts proposed by the governor.

"Budget cuts to institutions are cuts to people, so this is a cut to our students," said Bauer.

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