Tuition Increase, Cuts On Gcc Board Agenda

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The Gila Community College board will meet Thursday to discuss possible cuts and a potential 30-percent increase in tuition.

Other considerations include cutting some support staff positions and furloughing others four days each month, or eliminating scholarships for senior citizens, which the college spent $500,000 on last school year.

Senior scholarships allow Gila County residents over the age of 55 to attend GCC classes for free.

The college, which also asked the county for $300,000, has already cut $1.5 million in spending from its budget, according to Tim Curtis, the chief business officer for Eastern Arizona College.

However, Curtis said he couldn’t say what those cuts were because the board has not yet discussed them.

Although the school passed a $6.1 million budget last week, nobody knows if the college will receive the $713,000 in state aid budgeted.

The state legislature passed a budget that included $11.3 million in cuts to community colleges, but the governor has yet to sign the budget. The state must pass a budget by June 30, the end of this fiscal year.

The college has already laid off 12 part-time employees, three full-time employees and cut hours at its two wellness centers.

GCC’s board will forward recommendations to EAC, which runs GCC. Gila County is legally prohibited from running its own community college because its property valuations and population counts fall below legislative thresholds.

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