Thu, Mar 22, 2018 07:08 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2004-01-09 schools
More education funding sought
PRESTONSBURG Dr. Michael McCall met with community and college leaders to discuss the 2004 Legislative Agenda.

An impressive group of professional community leaders and college leadership came together at the Prestonsburg Campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) on Tuesday night to hear Dr. Michael McCall, President of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) discuss the challenges facing the KCTCS colleges and impact of the 2004 General Assembly Session on education in Kentucky.

McCall, assisted by vice presidents Tim Burcham and Ken Walker, presented a program beginning with the three goals of KCTCS as mandated by House Bill 1; Access, Training, and Remedial/Continuing Education. Dr. McCall said, "KCTCS, along with Big Sandy Community and Technical College and the other colleges in the KCTCS system, is the true point of access for higher education in Kentucky. Training and our workforce education programs are vital to the economy and the need for remedial education is a critical part of the educational services we provide."

McCall went on to discuss the KCTCS objectives for the 2004 legislative session. The first objective was to gain support for the CPE (Council on Postsecondary Education) recommendations for KCTCS. The second objective was to gain support for KCTCS special initiatives which includes implementation of a Classification and Compensation Plan, Remedial/Developmental Programs, Homeland Security, and development of a Center of Excellence in Automotive Manufacturing. The third objective was to gain support for the KCTCS Capital Budget. This includes new construction, maintenance of existing facilities, renovation of existing facilities, expansion of existing facilities, capital equipment, information technology equipment or system acquisitions, and new or expanded leases of real property.

Dr. George D. Edwards, President of Big Sandy Community and Technical College explained the pressing needs of the college and the impact that funding cuts and rising costs will have on students, faculty and staff. He talked about the improvements to math and science labs that a funding increase would allow. He also told the group how increases in enrollment have filled our classrooms to capacity and created a need for more faculty, equipment and classrooms. Dr. Edwards said, "Our increase in enrollment is wonderful, but it has created new challenges as we strive to meet the needs of over 4400 students currently enrolled at BSCTC."

McCall concluded the evening by asking the group for their support and active participation in lobbying the 2004 General Assembly for more funding for education. He said, "Your legislators listen to you when you speak. It is important that you tell them how important funding for education is to you and your community."

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