State panel hears arguments over higher-ed funding

2012-08-17T06:00:00Z State panel hears arguments over higher-ed fundingBy HEATHER KENNISON — hkennison@elkodaily.com Elko Daily Free Press

ELKO — Is the quality of public education based on success or access?

People from Carson City, Elko, Fallon and Las Vegas addressed the Committee to Study the Funding of Higher Education’s Community College Funding Subcommittee Thursday.

Former assemblyman John Carpenter presented a resolution on behalf of Team GBC. It will be reviewed by other parties and submitted in its entirety to the subcommittee Aug. 29.

“We feel educating our kids is a preferable alternative to sending them to other centers of higher learning,” Carpenter said.

He argued for Great Basin College’s success in secondary education, saying Elko residents hold the same values for education as those in Winnemucca and Fallon.

“Just don’t decrease our funding so we can’t meet whatever goals must be met,” Carpenter said. “We ask that no funding reductions be made for rural Nevada.”

Fallon representative Bob Clifford backed up Team GBC.

“We support the resolution,” Clifford said.

In a battle of north versus south, some Las Vegas residents have other ideas. Hannah Brown said Nevada’s funding for higher education should focus on success, not access.

“Southern Nevada, as we know, produces more than 70 percent of our state’s revenues,” Brown said.

Bringing up the topic of the College of Southern Nevada’s faculty-to-student ratio, Brown asked that the subcommittee consider changing funding to a “more fair” system.

Sanchos Martinez, also of Las Vegas, said, “This is not just a CSN effort, it’s a state effort.”

Chancellor Dan Klaich has proposed a formula that would base funding on graduation rates instead of enrollment. GBC would lose more than 30 percent of its budget under the system.

In Carson City, Jeff Fontaine, executive director of the Nevada Association of Counties, addressed the subcommittee with a plea to not reduce funding.

“Counties have finite resources and are not in a position to deal with reduced revenues,” Fontaine said.

The Elko County Commission will consider Team GBC’s resolution at its meeting at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Nannini Administration Building. A draft of the resolution is on page A4 of today’s Free Press.

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Find Heather Kennison on Twitter at @hkennisonEDFP.

Copyright 2015 Elko Daily Free Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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