Alabama Community College System seeks increased funding

Legislative agenda: Bigger budget, maintaining size of board of trustees

By: - February 8, 2023 3:00 pm
A circular seal, painted in red and white. An inner circle depicts a temple, laurel branches and the letters "ACCS." An outer ring spells "Alabama Community College System" in red letters on a white background.

The seal of the Alabama Community College System on display at ACCS’ administrative building in Montgomery, Alabama on February 8, 2023. (Brian Lyman/Alabama Reflector)

The Alabama Community College System’s Board of Trustees Tuesday approved a 2023 legislative agenda with a strong focus on increasing funding. 

The trustees approved the agenda unanimously, without discussion.

Increased funding for the community college system would be used to increase employee compensation, expand short-term certifications and credentials and offer more correctional education programs and services. The budget request also includes a 6% increase in Operations and Maintenance funding across the system. The career coach program would also provide more support and mentorship to students. 

The state’s community college system, consisting of 24 schools around the state, is slated to receive $515.8 million this year. Legislators last year approved a nearly 10% increase ($45 million) in the system’s budget. Most of that went to operations, but the Legislature also approved a $5 million increase in prison education and a $4 million increase in dual enrollment programs.  

Additional funds would also be used to provide more dual-enrollment scholarships for high school students and expand Licensed Practical Nurse programs. The board also wants to address issues specific to the automotive, aerospace and aviation industries.

At the same February meeting, they introduced two new employees in the system, both in the aviation industry.

Other parts of the legislative agenda include diverting funding from the Education Trust Fund Advancement and Technology Fund to the community college system for technology upgrades, deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects.

The legislative agenda also stated that the board would support confirmation of new board members but would oppose any legislative efforts to modify the existing form of the Board of Trustees.

The board also authorized Jimmy H. Baker, the community colleges’ chancellor, to issue directives and form position statements through the legislative session.

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Jemma Stephenson
Jemma Stephenson

Jemma Stephenson covers education as a reporter for the Alabama Reflector. She previously worked at the Montgomery Advertiser and graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.