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Kirkwood cuts hurt job creation, reduce opportunities
by By Liz Mathis State Senator · February 8th, 2018

We should all be concerned about Senate File 2117 which calls for immediately cutting $5.4 million from Iowa's community colleges, when the budget year is more than half over.

What's the reason businesses aren't moving to Iowa or expanding in our communities? We don't have enough skilled workers to do the jobs they need to fill.

Forcing community colleges to drop classes, cut programs, increase tuition and lay off staff will make creating better-paying jobs and boosting economic growth even more difficult.

Kirkwood Community College is involved in so much that is going right in our economy. The college, the teachers and especially the students generate and attract economic activity in communities, large and small. We must support them and invest in them, not cut their resources.

Under the Senate proposal, Kirkwood will have to cut $850,792 from its budget in the next few months. That works out to $212,698 per month from March through the end of the fiscal year on June 30. It's estimated that tuition would increase five to ten percent to make up the difference. This is the third budget cut within this fiscal year.

These cuts put people's lives and careers-our whole economy-on hold. For example:

The Sign Language Program at Kirkwood will have to close.

Community colleges won't be able to implement regional Career and Technical Education Centers-joint projects with K-12 schools-throughout the state.

The Governor just signed into law SF 512, addressing water quality. Community colleges were set to train Iowans for work in this field, but these cuts will prevent them from developing their water-quality programs.

If community colleges matter to you-good course offerings, affordable tuition, great educators and the boost they bring to incomes and our economy - contact legislator and encourage them to put community colleges at the top of their priority list.
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