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CSI Waiting For Legislators To Decide Funding Requests

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By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Last August, the College of Southern Idaho submitted its budget requests to the state of Idaho.

Now that the legislature's in session, lawmakers will have to decide how much of CSI's requests they can approve. Education has the biggest price tag that Idaho lawmakers have to pay every year.

The College of Southern Idaho gets a major percentage of its funding from the state legislature. But so far, Idaho Governor Butch Otter has only recommended that lawmakers approve the first item on the college's list of budget requests. That's related to the new $8 million Applied Technology and Innovation Center they want to construct north of the Canyon and Desert buildings.

Dr. Jerry Beck of the College of Southern Idaho says, "We asked for $140,000 back in August. Because of the timing of that building, we only need about $70,000 for occupancy. So we asked them to the remaining $70,000 that we asked in that particular area, and moving it to our second priority, which is additional nursing facility."

Beck says those nursing instructors are already working at CSI, but right now they're being paid with grant money, and the college needs the state to step in and replace the grant money that's "going away." The next item is a voluntary framework for accountability.

Beck says, "The three community colleges in the state are looking to purchase and be involved in that particular data plan, so that we would have common numbers to be able to compare ourselves against one another with."

CSI is asking for $191,000 to establish a new off-campus center in Idaho Falls, hopefully to form a taxing district for a fourth community college in the Gem State. Then there's the I-STEM project, which will help train students in math, science, and engineering.

Beck says, "Our last project has to do with improvement of the graduation rate here at the College of Southern Idaho, which is $170,000."

Idaho lawmakers will be discussing state education funding issues for the next two weeks. Beck says CSI will move ahead with whatever funding that legislators approve.

Jan. 30, 2013.


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