Mike Taylor: Adequately fund community college

August 20, 2013 

Fund community colleges

I was fortunate enough to be a community college president for 15 years under three governors. I can’t say how many times I heard how valuable we were to the economic well-being of our state. The problem was those platitudes never came with any real increase in the funding formula.

We got so good at doing more and more with less and less that the state leadership just assumed that would always happen. But, what was keeping our two-year colleges going was increasing enrollments, which brought in more dollars as the value of our funding formula decreased.

Now, with many colleges facing declining enrollments, especially the smaller, rural ones, our colleges face a real crisis. That is a crisis they did not make but one that has been driven by leaders of both parties who simply have ignored our community colleges.

Gov. Pat McCrory should forget about working on the funding formula. There is one simple fix for what ails our colleges. Give our colleges money to adequately fund the current funding formula, and the able leadership of our two-year institutions will figure out the best way to meet local and state needs.

They certainly have been doing just that in the past with a lot less. I would love to see how far they can go with adequate funding!

Mike Taylor

Retired president, Stanly Community College

Emerald Isle

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