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2011 January 24 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Brown Budget Plan Slashes CC Funding

California’s community colleges are bracing for a new round of budget cuts after Gov. Jerry Brown proposed reducing state funding for the schools by $400 million.

The cuts represent a 6.5 percent reduction and could mean an estimated 350,000 students could be turned away at time when number of young Californians is growing and as the economy increasingly demands advanced education, according to educators.

The proposed reductions are part of Brown’s plan to close an estimated $25 billion budget gap. Overall, the governor proposed slashing higher education spending by $1.4 billion.

“Given the vast demographic shifts underway in California, now is not the time to shrink public higher education, but to grow it,” said a joint statement by leaders of University of California, California State University and community colleges. “The road to recovery from this recession and prosperity far beyond it runs straight through our many campuses.”

Brown also proposed raising community college fees, from $26 to $36 per unit, or $300 to $540 per semester, for a full-time student.

The California community college system is the nation’s largest, with 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.76 million students per year.

Chancellor Jack Scott said the cuts would undermine efforts to revive the economy of the country’s largest state.

“These are difficult times for California and there’s no way to avoid the pain of budget cuts.” he said “However, if our community colleges sustain reductions of this magnitude, we anticipate up to 350,000 students will be turned away next year. “California’s economy is highly dependent upon an educated workforce and it’s the taxpayer who is shortchanged when colleges and universities turn away students.”

  • Police Charge Man in Fatal Shooting of QB

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A 20-year-old man has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of community college quarterback Dominique Corder in front of his grandmother’s house in Indianapolis early on New Year’s day.

The charged was filed against Mark Price Jr. of Indianapolis and he was jailed without bond. As he was led from court, he denied shooting Corder and said he was “completely innocent.”

Police say a witness identified him as the shooter.

Corder, a 20-year-old sophomore, played at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minn. Police say he was talking with someone in an SUV when someone shot him in the abdomen.

Corder led Central Lakes to a 10-2 record this season. He was a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American.

  • Teacher Who Stole Laptops Gets Probation

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A former Turtle Mountain Community College teacher accused of stealing laptop computers has been sentenced to two years of probation.

Martin Henry pleaded guilty in federal court to larceny. Authorities say he took 17 laptops and computer repair kits while working as a part-time instructor in the Belcourt college’s technology department in 2009.

The 47-year-old Henry says in court documents that he pawned the computers to support a prescription drug habit and has since completed a successful treatment program. He says the computers were returned to the school.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ordered Henry to pay more than $4,500 in restitution.

  • US Rep. Foxx To Head Key House Education Panel

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx has been appointed as chair of the U.S. House subcommittee on higher education.

The Republican said that quality higher education will be one of the keys to remaining competitive in the global economy. The subcommittee oversees policy on colleges and universities.

Foxx was elected to Congress in 2004. She previously taught or served as an administrator at Appalachian State University, Caldwell Community College and Mayland Community College.

  • Ethics Charges Dropped Against Ala. Ex-Coach

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Ethics charges have been dismissed against a former Bishop State Community College women’s basketball coach.

Ruling that Alabama’s ethics statute is unconstitutionally vague, Mobile County Circuit Judge Joseph Johnston threw out two ethics charges against Elston Turner, who was one of 28 people arrested in 2007 in a financial aid investigation.

Turner was accused of using his position as coach for personal gain by making false representations to obtain Pell Grants for his wife.

  • Student Loan Scheme Results In 3-Year Term

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A 22-year-old Cedar Rapids man has gotten three years in prison for recruiting fake students to sign up for classes at Kirkwood Community College in a student loan scheme.

Cory Bailey had pleaded guilty to mail fraud. Bailey was ordered to pay restitution of nearly $5,900 to the college and more than $133,000 to the U.S. Education Department.

Bailey must serve three years of supervised release after he leaves federal prison.

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