Program: Community college operations

Appropriation:

All from GF/GP:

$283,940,400

Total:

$283,940,400

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the operational costs of Michigan’s community colleges. Michigan’s 28 community colleges provide the following: (1) low-cost courses for students planning to obtain a bachelor’s degree, (2) courses for those who wish to have special kinds of technical skills in business, industry or other fields, and (3) programs to serve the direct educational needs of the community where the college resides. Fewer than 200,000 students are currently enrolled full-time in community colleges throughout the state, a 3.4 percent drop since the 1984-1985 school year. [1] The appropriation above does not include revenue for the tuition restraint program.

For the fiscal year 2003-04, individual community college appropriations totaled $283,940,400. The specific appropriations according to Act 146 of 2003 are:

Alpena Community College

$4,930,500

Bay De Noc Community College

$4,766,800

Delta College

$13,331,900

Glen Oaks Community College

$2,236,800

Gogebic Community College

$4,078,400

Grand Rapids Community College

$16,769,300

Henry Ford Community College

$20,436,700

Jackson Community College

$11,312,800

Kalamazoo Valley Community College

$11,542,800

Kellogg Community College

$9,068,800

Kirtland Community College

$2,752,400

Lake Michigan College

$4,880,800

Lansing Community College

$28,999,400

Macomb Community College

$30,941,500

Mid Michigan Community College

$4,127,600

Monroe County Community College

$4,015,800

Montcalm County Community College

$2,904,700

C.S. Mott Community College

$14,661,600

Muskegon Community College

$8,343,600

North Central Michigan College

$2,826,100

Northwestern Michigan College

$8,513,800

Oakland Community College

$19,518,300

St. Clair County Community College

$6,537,800

Schoolcraft College

$11,455,400

Southwestern Michigan College

$6,149,300

Washtenaw Community College

$11,642,900

Wayne County Community College

$15,050,600

West Shore Community College

$2,144,000

Recommended Action:

While public support for higher education might be better accomplished by converting from direct funding to a system of tuition vouchers or tax credits, such a plan may not be politically feasible at this moment. [2] But it would give institutions of higher learning a stronger incentive to contain costs and to make sure that as many resources as possible are dedicated to serving students’ educational needs. There are, however, some immediate steps that the Michigan Legislature should take to deal with escalating costs. During tough economic times there is no legitimate reason to exempt community colleges from the same budget discipline that families and state bureaucracies must face. Governor Granholm’s 2005 proposal decreases the gross appropriation to $262,987,500.

Author’s Note: In Fiscal Year 2005, state funds are set to be appropriated to Michigan community colleges and universities as part of a "tuition restraint" policy. The funds will only be paid if the institutions "that did not adopt an increase in tuition and fee rates after December 1, 2003 for the 2003-2004 academic year, and that it will not adopt tuition and fee rate increases for the 2004-2005 academic year," [3] adjusted for inflation based upon the Detroit Consumer Price Index. Governor Granholm has set aside more than $17 million for community colleges that restrain tuition increases. This is a poor use of state funds. Those who benefit the most from education should be required to bear the greatest burden of paying for it. The state should eliminate this program and its appropriation. Savings: $17,036,800.