Community colleges all across the state of Texas may soon see control of their campuses move to a state run agency instead of a local board of trustees. Leaders of Laredo Community College feel this could greatly hamper the effectiveness of their schools. Our Ryan Bailey has more in our top story at 10.
Not only do the colleges feel they will lose a local touch, but are also worried about more money coming out of their budgets to pay for a national consultant.
"They want to carve out another $350,000 to do this study."
The recently approved state budget calls for each community college across Texas to give back $350,000 to go to a national consultant, which will determine if the colleges should be run at a state level. L.C.C. has nine trustees that oversee the college but that would change if this proposal passes.
"We do not understand the rationale behind it, but we do know the potential consequences which are going to be dramatic and unacceptable to those of us that believe the best way to govern a community college is by a local board."
The current trustees don't feel that a state run organization can have the same local effectiveness that is currently present at the schools and President Maldonado agrees.
"A state organization would not be as sensitive I feel because they would not have the feel and the pulse of the community needs."
"You need businessmen, industrialists, attorneys and educators that live in this community and understand what we want this community to blossom into."
And as the school is dealing with financial woes already, they say taking another $350,000 is adding insult to injury.
"Taking away money for this particular project again is less money trickling down to this college."
"In the scheme of things it's a small amount but when you're already being cut dramatically to carve even more out of it, to me it is ill conceived and not the right thing to do."
State senator Judith Zaffirini has already voted against this version of the state budget, citing concerns over finding more funding for state colleges and universities, not taking more money away from them. According to the budget, the consultant’s results will be available to the governor no later than June first 2012.