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With Governor Jay Nixon submitting an amendment to the fiscal year 2013 budget that restores $40 million in funding for public colleges and universities in Missouri, East Central College is now facing potential cuts of more than $400,000 in state funding rather than the $600,000 originally proposed.

 

The $40 million that can now be directed back to higher education comes from more than $140 million in benefits that Missouri is expected to receive under a proposed settlement by states’ attorneys general with the nation’s five largest mortgage banks over flawed and fraudulent foreclosure practices that led to the housing crisis.   

 

 

Jackson and the other presidents and chancellors from the public colleges and universities in the state met with the governor February 9 to review the  amendment to Nixon's recommended budget. 

 

“Though it now appears that the reduction in state aid won't be as large as we originally thought, this would be our third year of cuts and each year they have been progressively worse,” noted Dr. Ed Jackson, ECC’s president. 

 

“In 2011 our state aid was reduced 5.2 percent, and this year we saw a 7 percent reduction,” Jackson said.  “If the cuts proposed by Governor Nixon are approved, our total reduction will amount to $1.1 million over three years.  

 

Dr. Jon Bauer, vice president of finance and administration, stated that the college has already started working on the budget for the 2013 fiscal year that begins July 1. 

 

“We will look at cutting expenses wherever possible, and unfortunately we’ll need to look at combining those cuts with an increase in tuition,” Bauer said.  “Additional cuts will affect the quality in instruction and services that we can provide to our students.” 

 

Even if tuition goes up, East Central will continue to be very affordable.

 

“For several years, tuition at ECC has been the lowest in the state,” noted Bauer.  “We want to continue to be among the most affordable institutions in Missouri.”

 

This year ECC has a budget of almost $18.4 million.  State aid accounts for 27 percent of revenue.  More than 32 percent comes from local sales tax revenue and student tuition and fees account for almost 39 percent of the money coming into the college.

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