Community colleges rally for more funding - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Community colleges rally for more funding

Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. Source: WLBT Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. Source: WLBT
Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. Source: WLBT Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. Source: WLBT
Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. Source: WLBT Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. Source: WLBT
Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. Source: WLBT Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. Source: WLBT
Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. Source: WLBT Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Educating over 75,000 students a year, community colleges in Mississippi are banding together asking lawmakers for more support and funding. 

Students like Adam Kirkland grew up knowing the value of a good education, but he wasn't sure if his family could afford it. Kirkland spent countless hours studying and getting a 29 on his ACT, however it still wasn't enough to land him a full ride in college.

"I began researching the average annual salaries of careers in technical programs," Kirkland said. "I was amazed that none of my high school teachers or counselors ever brought this up as a favorable choice."

According to the Fill The Gap organization, there are more than 3,000 unfilled "middle skill" jobs in Mississippi. Jobs that can be applied for after going to one of the state's 15 community colleges -- education that used to rank #1 in the nation, but has fallen dramatically due to budgeting.

"When the funding goes away or dwindles or is cut, our quality begins to be questionable," said Dr. Mary Graham with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. "We don't want that. We want to make sure we continue to offer the best programs possible so we can train our students."

Dr. Graham says lawmakers have made cuts to their budgets over the past three years which has in turn causes community colleges to cut programs and fire teachers. 

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