• Local community college hit hard by budget cuts while enrollment grows

    By: Peter Daut

    Updated:

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - Community colleges across the state are dealing with massive budget cuts, but the drop in funding is hitting one local college especially hard.

    The student population at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College jumped 3 percent this year to roughly 22,000 students. However, state budget cuts depleted about $2 million from the school's budget.

    "It's very frustrating," said student Leslie Brown.

    Brown decided to go back to school to get her associate of science degree. She said she's unhappy the cuts have forced the college to delay new programs and scale back on services like tutoring.

    "That's going to impact our GPA, our ability to go on to another four-year school and really get back into the workforce," Brown said.

    Also new this year, the college's library will only be open four days a week and will close two hours earlier.

    "We're not able to do the job we would really like to do, which is be more accessible," said RCCC president Dr. Carol Spalding.

    Spalding worries about the long-term impact.

    "People will get jobs from the experience they have with us. So we think this is the best place to spend their tax dollars," she said.

    To cope, the school has ramped up its online presence, giving students access to the resources they need. All 58 North Carolina community colleges plan to collectively ask state lawmakers for more funding before the legislative session begins next year.


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