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Community colleges have been basically flat funded by the Oregon Legislature for the past 10 years

Community colleges play an incredibly important role in our communities.

They retrain the workforce when needed. Community colleges often pick up the 20 percent of students who don't complete high school with diplomas in the expected four years.

(Note — completion in Clackamas County school districts is slightly above the 79 percent state average.)

For those in high school, community colleges provide transferable advanced credit courses that can radically reduce the cost of higher education. Intensive and effective career technical training is readily available for those not interested in four year degrees — including internships and apprenticeships.

Specialty professional programs, such as nursing, dental assistant and other options, are available at half the cost per credit of comparable four-year programs.

There is one problem. Community colleges have been basically flat funded by the Oregon Legislature for the past 10 years.

This has forced community colleges to increase tuition far beyond our preferred amounts just to keep up with student growth and normal economic realities. We need adequate funding to protect access to programs that are vital to our communities and all Oregonians.

I recently retired from the Clackamas Community College elected Board of Education.

Over those 15 years I served, I came to deeply appreciate the contribution community colleges make. Please feel free to share with your legislators.

Ron Adams

West Linn


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