Community Colleges and the 2012 Election
by Daniel Luzer
Among other things that occurred in the election earlier this week, America’s community colleges had a good showing. Many states had ballot initiatives to address funding these institutions, and it worked out rather well. According to an article by Matthew Dembicki in Community College Times:
Despite tough economic times, community colleges seeking bond approval to help fund repairs and expand facilities seemed to win over voters.
In New Jersey, voters approved a measure for $750 million in bonds for higher education, including $150 million for community colleges. Two-year college leaders in the state—which is still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy—have promoted the measure as an economic plan as well as an educational one because of the jobs and skilled workers it would bring to New Jersey.
Voters in North Carolina, Texas, and California also approved increased funding for some community colleges.
These initiatives are, it’s important to note, bond measures for specific college projects and do not represent structural increases in funding that might result in lower college costs or stave off future tuition hikes.