Sinclair Community College-benefits for which community?

I’ve been critical of the expansion of Sinclair Community College into Warren County. It’s bad enough that we’ve been losing population and business to them- but now they are getting the fruits of our tax support of a Montgomery County institution with zero tax burden.

Sure, they will pay more in tuition, but it’s marginally more. The college administration will say that none of your tax dollars are being spent- yet, they are wasting their valuable time (Dr. Johnson makes $274K a year- the highest paid government employee in Montgomery County) on something we didn’t agree to.

Now, in the midst of an economic pounding- right after we almost unanimously approved another levy- and when they’ve just instituted a 3.5% tuition hike- they want to hike tuition and fees even higher:

Johnson said Thursday he would ask the board Saturday to “move forward on the request for a special fee exception (from the state) to allow us to readjust our tuition and fees.”

“It’s my goal to remain the lowest in the state of Ohio, but I would like to get right up to the second lowest — whatever would close that gap or at least narrow that gap,” Johnson said.

Sinclair’s $2,050 annual tuition for full-time Montgomery County students is the lowest in Ohio. Lorain’s annual tuition is $2,400. The $350 difference represents a 17 percent gap.

Both colleges are supported by county levies.

Sinclair spokeswoman Natasha Baker said any increase would not be done all at once.

Sinclair’s board in September approved a 3.5 percent tuition increase that started this month with the winter quarter. The college had kept tuition frozen for 12 of the last 19 years.

via Sinclair president urges tuition, fee hike; board won’t act on it today.

I believe- and have written it here many times, that Sinclair Community College with its unbelievably low tuition is one of the best reasons to live here- and to move your business here. Now, Dr. Johnson wants to take away our competitive advantage by raising rates to parity with Lorain Community College. The difference: Sinclair is the only debt-free institution of higher ed in the State- and has $100 mill in the bank. That’s your money at work.

Just because he’s gone on an expansion binge, doesn’t give him a right to take it out of the students’ wallets. We paid for the privilege of having an amenity- now, Dr. Johnson has to learn to live within our budget.

If he wants to keep raising tuition and growing his empire- maybe he needs to go somewhere else- or do it with his own money. The taxpayers of Montgomery County deserve better.

Greg and I have another spirited discussion (at least the best I could do with his interruptions) about this topic. Greg asserts that Sinclair isn’t delivering at all, I disagree. One thing we agree on, is that certain developers have done well with these out of county expansions of community colleges. What are your thoughts?

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