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Budget Update – March 3, 2017

Higher Education Appropriations This week, the House Subcommittee on Education Appropriations began its initial markup of the state budget proposed by the Governor. Several changes were made that have an impact on community colleges and higher education. First, cuts to all higher education institutions were equalized at 9.053% below last year’s appropriation.  As initially presented, the Governor’s budget recommendation applied a 10% cut to general revenue funding for all of higher education, but the total percentage cut was different for each institution once ... Read more

Hearings scheduled on pension and highway signage bills

This week, hearings were scheduled for two bills that would impact PSRS/PEERS and community college highway signage. The Senate Pensions committee heard a bill by Senator Romine that would allow changes in benefit in cases of divorce. The identical House version of the bill was also heard. Both bills are supported by the PSRS/PEERS board, and no opposition or questions were voiced by committee members. Another bill by Senator Romine, SB 355, was scheduled for a hearing this week. If passed, the bill would ... Read more

FY2018 Budget debuts in the House, Governor recommends changes

This week, the Missouri House of Representatives unveiled its version of the FY 2018 state budget, and Governor Eric Greitens announced a revision to his budget that would add back in $52 million. The House version of the budget was identical to the Governor’s proposed budget, which cut higher education funding dramatically. Department of Higher Education Commissioner Zora Mulligan presented the department’s proposed FY 2018 budget to the House Budget Committee on Tuesday. She also confirmed that if the House’s current budget proposal, ... Read more

Sen. Roy Blunt receives national honor for support of community colleges

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt received the National Education Service Award from the Association of Community College Trustees at the association’s annual legislative summit in Washington, D.C. this week. In his time as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing education, Blunt led the effort to reinstate the Year-Round Pell Grant, an effort that would aid thousands of community college students in Missouri. The Senate’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bill included a provision to reinstate year-round ... Read more

Mission review and workforce development bills advance

This week in the Capitol, legislation moved forward that would mean some significant changes for workforce development and community colleges. The legislation regarding mission review that we discussed in last week’s Advocacy Brief was voted out of committee, and now awaits floor debate in both Chambers. If passed, the bills would create a new process in which colleges and universities could appeal to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education for the right to offer programs that are outside their current state-mandated missions. Learn ... Read more

Mission review bills advance in both Chambers

This week in the Capitol, the big news for community colleges surrounded two bills that would potentially allow our institutions to offer bachelor’s degrees in some cases. MCCA testified in favor of House Bill 758 and identical Senate Bill 328 before the House Committee on Higher Education and the Senate Education Committee. If passed, they would create a new process in which colleges and universities could appeal to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education for the right to offer programs that are ... Read more

Budget discussion kicks off in the House

Budget discussions got off to a rocky start for Missouri's colleges this week. Following Governor Greitens' proposal to cut $90 million from colleges and universities, the budget was sent to the House. Some legislators commented that the institutions can “easily” absorb these cuts because they are “inefficient” and have other streams of revenue, such as tuition and local property taxes.  Of course, we know that is not the case, but it is evidence of a challenging environment. There’s still a long way to ... Read more

Advocacy Brief – February 3, 2017

Governor announces budget priorities, proposes cuts to higher education This week, Governor Eric Greitens announced his priorities for the FY 2018 budget, which included some significant cuts to higher education. Colleges and universities took the biggest hit with a $90 million cut.  Out of that, community colleges alone received a $14.7 million reduction. Governor Greitens in his press conference on Thursday pointed to slow revenue and the increased cost of health care as reasons for cuts. “As any family knows, when you spend more ... Read more

FY 2018 Appropriations Testimony

The following testimony was presented this week to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees by East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to visit with you today. My name is Jon Bauer, and I am president of East Central College in Union and chairman of the Missouri Community College Association. MCCA represents all 12 of Missouri’s community colleges, and I am here today on their behalf.  Before I get into my comments, I ... Read more

Free resources for you to use in the classroom

Between tight budgets and time poverty—you can’t afford to reinvent the wheel, and the good news is that you don’t have to. There are thousands of free or low-cost resources out there that you can use in your classroom. They’re called open educational resources, or OER for short. And, if you know where to look, you can find everything from syllabi, to textbooks, to assignments, simulations and games. There’s so much available, that finding what you’re looking for can be a challenge, so ... Read more
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