- Associated Press - Monday, January 22, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Leaders of Mississippi’s eight public universities are ringing alarm bells about state funding, saying they could lose their ability to compete if funding cuts from recent years aren’t restored.

In presentations Monday to legislators, Higher Education Commissioner Glenn Boyce and university presidents warned that Mississippi could fall further behind the nation economically if its universities can’t keep pace.

Leaders of the state’s 15 community colleges make a similar case, although in less dire terms, noting Mississippi’s 15 community colleges laid off employees and raised tuition by an average of 13 percent last spring.

Universities and community colleges seek big funding increases. But preliminary recommendations would give universities 15 percent less in general funds in next year’s budget than what they spent in 2016. Community colleges would get 12 percent less.

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