Nebraska's community colleges agree to divvy up state funding, put an end to years of feuding and legal skirmishes
Metro Community College and the state’s other two-year schools have agreed how to divvy up state money, a deal seemingly ending a years-long feud that prompted lawsuits, legislative frustration and loads of ill will.
The deal helps Metro, which should receive about $4 million more in state funding than it did last year.
It will financially strain the state’s five other community colleges, each of which will get a smaller slice of the state-funding pie than before.
Despite those financial implications, all six community college presidents have signed onto the plan — partly because they felt pressure to do something or face the wrath of the Legislature.
State senators could drastically shrink the total funding Nebraska gives to its community colleges during the next legislative session. This week, college leaders acknowledged the Legislature’s probable reaction should the community colleges continue to feud.
“If we continued to be at odds like we have been, there were some worst-case scenarios,” said Jack Huck, president of Southeast Community College, based in Lincoln. “Let’s just say that (community college presidents) at the table came up with some pretty ugly scenarios. It was a motivation for us to stick together.”