From the Office of State Senator Kel Seliger, District 31

January 24, 2011
Contact: Gina Dowdy
(806) 374-8994

Senator Seliger Applauds the Inclusion of Funding for Community Colleges in District 31 in the Senate Budget

AUSTIN, Texas — State Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) is pleased to report the inclusion of funding for the continued operation of Frank Phillips College in Borger and Odessa College in Odessa in the Senate budget released this morning. "This is consistent with the value provided to the people of Texas and their future by the community college system," said Seliger.

Frank Phillips College and Odessa College were two of the four community colleges targeted for defunding in the preliminary budget introduced in the House last week.

"I started working on this issue the moment I heard of the cuts proposed in the House budget last week. I appreciate Chairman Ogden's recognition of the invaluable role that these community colleges play in educating our workforce," Seliger stated.

Since its opening in 1948, Frank Phillips College has offered courses in a variety of general subjects such as math, English and history. Over the years, it has expanded its curriculum to include successful workforce training programs and an initiative that allows high school students to earn college credits. Odessa College, which opened its doors in 1946, has increased enrollment by greater than 20 percent, and contact hours by 18.26 percent since 2007.

"There is still some harm to the system when local foundations and bond agencies are trying to process the dire effects of the proposed House budget. I hope the entire budget process will alleviate some of that harm."

Seliger represents District 31 in the Texas Senate, spanning 26 counties from the Panhandle to the Permian Basin. Seliger currently serves as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting, as well as actively serving on the Education, Finance, International Relations and Trade, and Natural Resources Committees.