CBC prepares for budget cuts - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CBC prepares for budget cuts

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PASCO, Wash. -- Washington State has less money to spend, which is forcing lawmakers to cut funding to colleges and universities. Now Columbia Basin College is facing many challenges including cuts to helpful programs and courses. Ultimately, it means expensive tuition. President Richard Cummins expects it to go up 1/3 in the next few years.

On Monday, the budget reduction committee met with the Board of Trustees of the school. Together they came up with a list of recommendations for Cummins, who will have the ultimate say in what gets cut. The state estimates schools like CBC will lose 10% of funding. Cummins says that number is more like 25 to 30%. He said CBC used to receive about $23-million from the state and now they are looking at getting about $15-million.

"Across the board cuts, year after year to the point where we're just weakened in everything that we were doing. So I said that we were doing vertical cuts. So we've closed programs, we've laid people off. It's unfortunate but that's what we've had to do, and we'll be closing some more programs probably," explained President Cummins.

The cuts will effect instructional programs and even student services like counseling and financial aid and admissions. Cummins says he hopes to have the list of cuts finalized by next month, and the budget for the biennium completed by July first.