A little more perspective on the governor’s three vetoes of Technical College operational funding, courtesy of Midlands Tech President Sonny White, who spoke to the Columbia Rotary Club this afternoon. (He only mentioned the vetoes in passing; I got the rest from him in an interview afterward.)
When the Technical College system was founded at the behest of Gov. Fritz Hollings (who got the Legislature to go along by buying Sen. Edgar Brown a bottle of bourbon and helping him drink it, which shows that in an altered state of consciousness at least, our lawmakers can be forward looking), the system was paid for thusly:
- 70 percent of funding came from the state
- 10 percent came from the counties served by the 16 schools — this went to physical plant and other local operating costs
- 10 percent came from students — which made sense, since this was about providing a bright future to folks who did not already have good income
- 10 percent came from auxiliary services such as bookstores and the like
In the 2011 fiscal year, the breakdown will be:
- 70 percent will come from students — some of it from Pell Grants and lottery-funded scholarships, but it will still be up to the students to find the way to come up with it
- 10 percent from the state — which is just so many different kinds of pitiful that it defies words
- 10 percent from counties — Sonny expressed his appreciation that counties have at least kept their part of the bargain over the years.
- 10 percent from auxiliary services.
Oh, and by the way, the technical system has seen a 20 percent increase in enrollment during this period in which unemployment has hovered around 12 percent.
So now you know.