Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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Tuition and county contribution up under Dutchess Community College budget

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess Community College tuition will go up $84 in the fall semester, from the current $3,696, under a budget approved on a split vote by the county legislature Monday night.  That translates to a tuition hike of $168 for the two-semester school year.

The $69.3 million budget increases the county’s FY2018-2019 contribution by $1.75 million to nearly $24 million.

Legislator Joel Tyner, a Democrat, said a tuition increase could easily be avoided.

“I believe we should be touching the fund balance that is a massive budget surplus.” That fund balance, Tyner said, was $55 million as of last month.

Republican Dale Borchert said a better approach would be cuts that could have been made in the budget.

“That will not impact student outcome and will not impact employees there at the school,” Borchert said.  “There are things in here that I think that if we were looking to take that third leg of how we prepare a budget.”

Another Republican, Joseph Incoronato, said the more the college loses students, the bigger the budget gets.

Democrat Rebecca Edwards said what Incoronato was talking about points to a booming economy.

“Community colleges are by their nature counter-cyclical, that when the economy is booming, as it is now, enrollments tend to decline because people are out looking for those jobs, chasing those jobs in the economy,” Edwards said.”

Among the Republicans supporting the budget was Will Truitt.

“I do agree that we do need to be a bit more conservative in the future and I think that’s why we voted in favor of an amendment during our committee meetings to have the budget audited for this upcoming year,” Truitt said.  “But, regardless, I’m proud to support the budget this year and I’m looking forward to continuing to support DCC.”

The budget passed on a 16 to 7 vote that did not follow party lines.


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