College support must come from higher ed
Last week, representatives of local government asked a panel of Nevada legislators whether they valued the state’s community colleges.
The response that locals would have to come up with the money if they wanted to ensure the survival of the colleges prompted some argument.
We love that Minden is home to a campus of Western Nevada College, and we’re pleased to see its enrollment is growing.
There are 371 students attending school at the Bently Campus, and we hope that growth continues into the future.
But we know that the Nevada Department of Higher Education is far more concerned about the state’s two universities and its chief research facility when it comes to resources.
A change in the funding formula that favors the larger schools made clear regents’ intention to concentrate their resources in Las Vegas and Reno.
We could see an effort to raise the $250,000 a year required to keep the lights on at the Minden campus, but we could also see the funding presently devoted to the school dry up.
Why would regents ever vote to fund a college that had a source of money somewhere else?
Our answer is that they wouldn’t.
With the recession slowly receding, we hope that maybe regents will begin to see the value of the community colleges, both as contributors to local economies and preparation schools for the universities they are working so hard to preserve.