Why Kraupp Inc. Will Vote YES for The Community College May 16, 2017

Kraupp Inc. is once again proud to be sponsoring two local students who attend the Eastern Idaho Technical College Web Development Program. As a company, we had the pleasure of attending an award ceremony which highlighted the accomplishments of these talented people. It is with optimism that we look forward to the future of Idaho Falls and East Idaho in general.

Much of this optimism comes from both the students whose lives we could help and the future of the school that will act as a springboard for their careers.

This May Idaho Falls has the opportunity to vote to transition Eastern Idaho Technical College to a full community college. This opportunity, like many things, has much debate surrounding it. We here at Kraupp Inc. stand with education and hope to offer some reasons why.

Economics.

The number of local job openings requiring a college degree has more than tripled since 2009. Unfortunately, local college attendance has not kept up. Many studies find that “Local employers report they need more workers with quality education, training and skills”. A local community college will provide the help needed to fill this gap. Along with this, a community college is a critical tool to recruit new companies to the area. A recent report by the community college study panel calculated “that a local community college will sustain 900 local jobs and generate $66 million in annual local economic activity by the sixth year”. This economic impact was calculated by the Research & Business Development Center in Rexburg (staffed by BYU-Idaho professors). With a community college we will see more jobs coming to East Idaho and more of our locals being able to fill them.

Education.

With rising costs of tuition across the United States, many bright students find themselves unable or unwilling to pay the astronomical fee to receive a degree that may not be easy to pay off in a still fluid economy. Tuition at the community college will be 65% less than ISU and more than 20% less than BYU-Idaho, resulting in significant savings to local students and their families. This will reduce the monetary burden that scares off so many promising futures. These savings are then able to be invested into the community through other means. On top of saving money the community college will give local high school students the ability to earn dual college credits at less cost (only $65 a credit). Of note, “EITC today can’t offer dual credits. Consequently, high school students in District 91 and District 93, because only limited ISU and CSI courses are available locally, take dual credit courses at 1/8th the frequency of students in the Pocatello School District which has easy access to ISU courses”. A community college will offer local high students far options for their future with more inexpensive dual credits. During a group of interviews, many high school counselors indicated “a community college in the local area could help many high school students get the jump-start they need for a successful four-year university program”. Finally, credits from the new community college will freely transfer (unlike now) to other Idaho colleges.

Local Control and Costs.

The new College of Eastern Idaho will be governed by a local board of trustees. They will stand for election locally, putting the people of Bonneville County in charge of the new college’s future.

According to the Bonneville County Clerk and Accounting Office, “Bonneville County has paid $139,650 since October 1, 2015 (through May 2016). Bonneville County paid $144,400 in county tuition its last fiscal year (October 1, 2014- September 30, 2015). County tuition are funds paid to community colleges in counties outside of respective community college districts. These funds are typically paid in the amount of $50 per credit hour.” What this means is that if Eastern Idaho Technical College were to transition into a community college, these payments would end because local students would have the opportunity to attend a local community college. It is also important to note that counties outside of the community college taxing district would pay county tuition fees to the community college and thus stimulate college funding.

But what of the cost?

Still, creating a community college in Idaho does require some local support. It is estimated that the cost to the average homeowner in Bonneville County would be $13.37/per year or $1.11/month, roughly 1/3 of the cost of the current county dump. For commercial property, the cost should be $15/per year per $100,000 of value. These numbers are based upon EITC’s actual expenses plus those associated with offering community college courses. These are very conservative estimates coming from years of statistics. This breaks down to a cup of coffee a month, less if you are getting the really fancy stuff. So is the cost of giving our local youth a chance at greater success worth less than a morning jolt of caffeine?

We at Kraupp Inc. have loved being involved with EITC and all it does good for both the students and the community. We are confident that the people of Bonneville County will see the profits of voting yes to the transition on May 16th, 2017. Moreover, we are confident that the new Community College of Eastern Idaho will have a bright future and continue in its tradition of greatness.

Sources

  • http://www.gocommunitycollege.com/?gclid=CjwKEAjwlpbIBRCx4eT8l9W26igSJAAuQ_HGMKvUrCMSy_EMMB-2TnZfjfq1minMnYQaF4K2kndvRhoCvGLw_wcB
  • http://www.gocommunitycollege.com/why
  • http://www.rbdcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/CC-Review-Panel-Final-Report_Updated_Aug4.pdf
  • http://www.postregister.com/articles/news-daily-email-todays-headlines/2017/05/01/community-college-could-help-train-workforce
  • Photos: Artcore Visual Studio

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