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Community college funding holds steady in governor's budget proposal
Community college funding holds steady in governor's budget proposal
In terms of funding, the last decade has been a tough one for Wyoming’s community colleges.
In terms of funding, the last decade has been a tough one for Wyoming’s community colleges.

Since the 2011-12 biennium, community colleges have lost $53.8 million in funding when adjusting for inflation, according to a report presented by community college representatives during a meeting of the Legislature’s Joint Education Interim Committee last month.

During the meeting, Northwest College President Stefani Hicswa said community colleges act as an economic engine for the state, developing and training citizens to meet local needs.

“Unfortunately, because of the budget reductions that we have faced over the last several years, we are to the point that we’re struggling to be able to meet these needs in our communities and collectively as a state,” Hicswa said.

Gov. Mark Gordon’s 2021-22 biennium budget proposal includes a nominal increase in funding for the Community College Commission – a jump from about $249.5 million in the last biennium to $260 million. However, that funding boost was largely to account for a proportionate 2% salary increase approved by the Legislature last session, as well as increases in the health insurance plans for community college employees.

Sandy Caldwell, executive director of the Wyoming Community College Commission, said her agency is grateful for what was included in Gordon’s proposal, though she added the commission’s request was based on additions that were required.

“There was not a request for an increase in spending, and there was none given,” Caldwell said in a phone interview with the Tribune Eagle.
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Community college funding holds steady in governor's budget proposal
Community college funding holds steady in governor's budget proposal
In terms of funding, the last decade has been a tough one for Wyoming’s community colleges.
In terms of funding, the last decade has been a tough one for Wyoming’s community colleges. Since the 2011-12 biennium, community colleges have lost $53.8 million in funding when adjusting for inflation, according to a report presented by community college representatives during a meeting of the Legislature’s Joint Education Interim Committee last month. During the meeting, Northwest College President Stefani Hicswa said community colleges act as an economic engine for the state, developing and training citizens to meet local needs. “Unfortunately, because of the budget reductions that we have faced over the last several years, we are to the point that we’re struggling to be able to meet these needs in our communities and collectively as a state,” Hicswa said. Gov. Mark Gordon’s 2021-22 biennium budget proposal includes a nominal increase in funding for the Community College Commission – a jump from about $249.5 million in the last biennium to $260 million. However, that funding boost was largely to account for a proportionate 2% salary increase approved by the Legislature last session, as well as increases in the health insurance plans for community college employees. Sandy Caldwell, executive director of the Wyoming Community College Commission, said her agency is grateful for what was included in Gordon’s proposal, though she added the commission’s request was based on additions that were required. “There was not a request for an increase in spending, and there was none given,” Caldwell said in a phone interview with the Tribune Eagle.



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