The North Carolina House of Representatives proposes to increase the amount of funding for North Carolina community colleges by over $36 million in their FY2010-11 budget. This proposal slightly exceeds the Governor’s recommended increase of $32 million but falls short of the Senate’s proposal of $50.7 million in expansions. The total appropriations for FY 2010-11 under the House’s budget would amount to just over $1 billion.
Notable unique proposals from the House include large appropriations for Prisoner Education ($26 million total), an almost $1 million expansion for mentoring programs for minority males, and an increase in community college tuition for both residents and non-residents larger than the Governor’s and Senate’s budget plans.
Major reductions and expansions include:
- Fully Fund Enrollment Growth: $85 million. Provides funding needed to fully fund enrollment growth for FY 2010-11. The 2009-10 spring semester census shows that enrollment has increased 15.8% above the 2009-10 adjusted budgeted enrollment of around 215,000, amounting to nearly 250,000 full-time equivalent slots for FY 2010-11.
- Prisoner Education: $22.5 million. The House proposes to appropriate millions of dollars more to Prisoner Education in Community Colleges than both the Governor and Senate’s budget plans. $32 million was eliminated from this program in FY 2009-10, leaving $3 million remaining in the continuation budget for FY 2010-11. This would increase the total expenditures for the Prisoner Education program for FY 2010-11 to $25.5 million.
- Minority Male Mentoring: $900,000. Funding assists programs for minority males at community colleges that provide services such as personal and academic counseling, drug intervention, and personal growth and development.
- Equipment and Technology: $4 million. Increases appropriations for the purpose of purchasing instructional equipment and technology at all 58 community colleges. This is an expansion of the $43.3 million already appropriated for this program.
- Management Flexibility Reduction: $22.75 million. The State Board of Community Colleges will distribute the reduction, taking into account the unique needs of each community college. This flexibility reduction will not be permitted to impact funding related to retraining displaced workers.
- Eliminate Positions: $575,000. This proposal will eliminate seven positions in the Community College system, including: Business Officer, Education Program Director (2), Office Assistant, and Technology Support Analyst.
- Tuition Increase: $37.15 million. The House budget would increase tuition to $58 per credit hour ($8 dollar increase) and to $250 per credit hour for non-residents ($8.70 increase).