Students Confused, Concerned Over House Bills

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After battling cancer, 54-year-old Suzi Brzovskis stepped through the doors of Gila Community College with newly grown hair and a new dream of higher education.

But her dream is threatened as the Payson campus faces a battle of its own.

Brzovskis is enrolled in six child development classes at Gila Community College. She is also taking psychology and a pottery class. Her goal is to use her education to improve the lives of others, especially children.

"I'd like to be a counselor or an aide in public education, maybe at Whispering Hope Ranch," Brzovskis said.

But recent efforts by some state legislators to eliminate provisional colleges has Brzovskis and other local students confused and concerned.

"I don't really think that it's fair. We're the only provisional college in the state," Brzovskis said. "I don't understand."

The fate of the Payson campus may lie in the shadow of two house bills, HB 2105 that would repeal provisional community college districts in Arizona, and HB 2079, a recent bill that would also repeal the provisional status and reduce much-needed funding.

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Suzi Brzovskis and Al Campeas could see their use of the facilities and programs at Gila Community College changed drastically if the legislature passes either or both community college bills going before the House Appropriations Committee tomorrow.

Both bills are scheduled to be heard by the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday.

Brzovskis hopes legislators will remember her and others in this growing community.

"This is a good campus with excellent instructors and a great faculty," Brzovskis said.

"There are a number of people in this area, especially older people, who are going back to school -- and not just for pleasure, but to further their education."

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