Community College Conflict in Nebraska

February 25, 2009

A conflict over the state funding formula for community colleges is getting bitter in Nebraska. Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, has been kicked out of the Nebraska Community College Association. Metro says that it wouldn't pay for lobbying against its own interests. “They threw us out because we were unwilling to pay for their lobbyist who lobbies against us,” Dave Newell, chair of the college's board, told KETV News. Metro argues that the funding formula used by the state needs to change because it doesn't link funding sufficiently to enrollments. Rural legislators like the formula as it is, saying smaller institutions need extra help. One lawmaker has proposed legislation that would cut funds from colleges that aren't member of the Nebraska Community College Association, the group that kicked Metro out.

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