Rural Community Colleges Face Financial Squeeze

SNYDER — The coffers at Western Texas College are about as dry as the windswept West Texas plains that surround it. Reductions in state financing have been a literal drain — last year, the college cut costs by emptying its NCAA competition-sized pool.

“We have a large hole that used to be a swimming pool,” said Mike Dreith, the college’s president. “And we have a beautiful room designed to be a planetarium. It’s a nice, circular storage room now.”

Any more cuts would certainly mean faculty layoffs, said Patricia Claxton, the college’s chief financial officer. “We are already to ...

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