AUSTIN — Texas community colleges are preparing to raise tuition and cut thousands of potential students to cope with sweeping reductions proposed in the state Senate's draft budget.
Lawmakers are struggling to plug a revenue shortfall of at least $15 billion for the next two years. Meanwhile, community colleges are seeing soaring enrollment and cuts in financial contributions from the state.
Bill Holda, president of Kilgore College and chair-elect of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, told the finance committee Tuesday that colleges will have to raise tuition, increase property taxes and explore enrollment caps to cope with growth at their schools.
The majority of students who attend community colleges are first-generation college students from low-income families. They can't afford the increase in tuition that community colleges would be forced to charge.