Educators and Legislators Blast Texas Plan to Close Four Community Colleges

January 20, 2011

Some Texas educators and legislators are pushing back against a draft of the state budget, released earlier this week, that would cut $39 million by closing four community colleges. Richard Rhodes, chair of the Texas Association of Community Colleges and president of El Paso Community College, harshly criticized the plan. In a statement, he wrote: “This budget makes it clear that there is no longer a state policy when it comes to community colleges. If a college grows and educates more students the state does not live up to its commitment by funding growth. However, if a college is perceived by state bureaucrats as somehow growing too slowly, the state will cut all of an institution’s funding.” Democrats and even some Republicans in the state legislature have also expressed their displeasure with the proposed cuts. According to The Dallas Morning News, Rep. Dennis Bonnen, a Republican from Angleton, asked the House floor: “Why would we ever have a staff recommendation as a starting point that creates a headline that says Brazosport College would be closed?”

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