Financing Community Colleges: An Economic Perspective

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Federal and state appropriations, to higher education, are tied to the economy especially during times when the economy is in crisis. One of the issues of decline are public appropriations, which almost always lead to an increase in enrollment at community colleges (Manning 2012). With demands on increasing enrollment coupled with declining federal and state appropriations, publicly supported community colleges are increasingly challenged to find alternative means of obtaining adequate financial support. Finally, realizing that seeking to do more with less is not always a reliable long-term strategy. That being said, community colleges are increasingly seeking creative ways to increase their financial obligations with public and private donations. States do not have a legal obligation to provide Community College schooling resources as they do for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for example. However, there is a growing sense that an associate’s degree is today the minimal credential necessary to attain social and economic security. An example is evident during the Clinton administration and Bill Clinton’s initial proposal for the federal “Hope Scholarship.” In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1996, Clinton proposed a tax credit for the first two years of college to “make at least two years of college as universal as four years of a high school education is today” ( Bill Clinton's view on education, from acceptance speech. 1996) The implementation of the “scholarship” as a tax credit provided a boon for the middle class more than it helped low-income students enter college demonstrates the tension between the rhetoric of access and the politics of resource distribution. The growing imp... ... middle of paper ... ..., 2003, 2003, from Breneman, D. W., & Nelson, S. C. (1981). Financing community colleges: An economic perspective. Washington: The Brookings Institution. Dowd, A. C. (2003). From access to outcome equity: Revitalizing the democratic mission of the community college. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 586(March), 92-119. Burke, J. C., & Serban, A. M. (Eds.). (1998). Performance funding for public higher education: Fad or trend? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Yue, Loraine, (October 09, 2013) City Colleges Raises $250 Million from its First Bond Sale. Crain’s Chicago Business. Conner, T.W., and T.M. Rabovsky. “Accountability, Affordability, Access: A Review of the Recent Trends in Higher Education Policy Research.” Policy Studies Journal, 39 (2011), 93-112.

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