Florida TaxWatch Keeps Close Eye on Community College Funding

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Michael Comins, CEO of Florida's Association of Community Colleges, fears the Florida Senate may have different plans concerning funding for the state's 28 community colleges.

"I'm not really sure exactly what the issues are with the Senate. They have their perspective, but we are going to continue to put pressure on the Senate to fund the community colleges the same level as in the governor budget, and that in the current House position," says Michael Comins.

"Our community colleges help not only provide academic instruction to our thousands of students each year, but they do so with tremendous return on investment," says Dominic Calabro, President of Florida TaxWatch.

Tallahassee Community College President Bill Law says enrollment is slightly down across the community college system. Enrollment is something Law says has historically driven the budget.

But he feels the drop off in enrollment is a typical pattern, especially following a busy hurricane season where many community college students are opting to take part-time jobs.

"We think those students will be back. It would be terrible if we found ourselves cutting the budgets just when students come back, so we're hoping the Senate will give us the capacity to keep growing," says Law.

Comins says due to the influx of citizens moving into the state, the community college systems need to continue expanding to meet demand.