Volume 2, Number 1 - AUG. 1, 2011

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Akeem Brunson
Akeem Brunson
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College Tuition Will Increase Starting Fall Term

By Akeem Brunson
Akeem.Brunson001@mymdc.net

Miami Dade College’s appropriations in the Florida state budget were reduced by 7.6 percent from last year’s amount, according to a statement released to students by College President Eduardo Padrón via email.
 
As a result, the 2011-2012 per-credit-hour cost has increased from $73.00 to $78.84.

In February, Florida Gov. Rick Scott submitted recommendations to the legislature requesting tax cuts amounting to approximately $4 billion, in an effort to reduce excessive spending and attract more businesses to Florida.
“This is a job’s budget,” Scott said at a press conference on Feb. 7. “This is designed to reduce state spending, to lower taxes and to hold government accountable.”

These recommendations left the state Senate and House to deliberate two starkly different budget proposals before reconciling on Senate Bill 2000: Appropriation, which outlines the state’s spending for the upcoming fiscal year.   
The new budget met Scott’s recommendations.

Yet before signing the new budget into law, Scott vetoed $615 million, according to a May 26 Miami Herald article.
In response to these vetoes, MDC President Eduardo Padrón released a statement to students via email.
“I must report discouraging news on the topic of state funding, news that will certainly challenge MDC’s ability to serve the students of our community,” Padrón said.
 
According to Padrón’s email, Scott’s $615 million veto included more than $10 million in appropriations for classrooms, laboratories, infrastructure and site improvements across MDC’s campuses.
 
“$6.7 million of those funds were desperately needed to expand the Hialeah Campus’ classrooms, science labs and other critical student support facilities,” Padrón said.

Jennifer Basile, vice president for United Faculty of Miami Dade College at Kendall Campus, says the cuts in education may cause lay-offs, the elimination of courses and other services offered at the college.
 
“Our lawmakers in Tallahassee are able to push cuts through because no one is checking up on them,” said Basile. “This can be changed by educating and mobilizing your peers with what's going on and the potential losses Miami Dade College is facing.” 
 
Erik Bentancourt, a business supervision and management student, said he is concerned with how budget cuts can affect classes at the College.
 
“We barely have enough available faculty as it is,” Bentancourt said. “This would mean that the College may let go of even more faculty members, which will lead to the lack of the individualized education.”
 
Juan Mendieta, MDC’s director of communications, released this statement to The Reporter via email.
 
“Our aim has always been ‘students first’ and we follow that mantra when addressing budget issues so that impacts to the classroom are avoided and/or minimized as much as possible. Even if the College increases tuition by eight percent, it will not offset cuts to the MDC budget since it is not a one-to-one ratio,” Mendieta said. “We do not take lightly the issue of tuition and fully believe the state should shoulder the cost of education, not the students.”

Jose Prado contributed to this article.
 

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.