State Technical Colleges Possibly Face More Cuts
State technical colleges are bracing for another round of potential budget cuts but it all depends on the general assembly's budgeting
Gov. Nathan Deal's proposed budget calls for a possible 10 percent cut in state funding to Georgia's technical colleges. This would be on top of current cuts that are forcing many state tech schools like Central Georgia Technical College to merge. With more possible cuts coming, some students and administrators are unsure of the future.
"We understand there's a proposed cut by the governor but at this point we don't have a lot of details on that," CGTC Marketing & Public Relations Assistant Vice President Janet Kelly said. "It's a little premature to speak about how it would have a specific effect on Central Georgia Technical College."
Deal originally proposed to cut another $24 million last month from the technical college system of Georgia, reflecting last year's drop of roughly 24,000 enrolled students in state technical colleges. A drop possibly influenced by lawmakers changing the required grade-point average from 2.0 to 3.0 for HOPE scholars. However, if house bill 372 is approved, it will reverse the grade point average which some say may bring students back to school.
"Lower the GPA for the HOPE would be a great thing for the students,” student Supporria Yates said. “Just trying to get more students in would be a great thing."
"Lowering the GPA back to 2.0 that could benefit everybody," CGTC Markevious Thomas said.
More students back at tech schools could possibly mean less money cut from the budget. However, with schools dealing with financial hits already, students said they can only imagine how another cut will hit their pocket books.
“That would really affect me because I really want to continue my education and go farther into it,” Yates said. “I don't want to take out more student loans just to pay off my education."
Until lawmakers approve the budget, administrators at Central Georgia Tech can only speculate on its implications.
"It would definitely affect Central Georgia Tech,” Kelly said. “We would have to take a close look where we could implement those cuts without affecting our students and without affecting our instructional value that we have here."
Due to spending cuts, many technical colleges including Central Georgia Tech have merged to save money. State funding drives enrollment at the tech schools and while there's a projection of a loss of about four percent of students this year, it may bounce back in 2014 if house bill 3-372 is approved.