According to news reports, colleges and universities statewide are expecting to lay off thousands of employees, eliminate programs and raise tuition in order if the state’s higher education system is forced to cut nearly $600 million from its budget.

On Wednesday, March 3, state universities and schools presented lawmakers with a “worst case scenario” list of possible budget cuts to be made in order to help cut the state budget.

The Georgia General Assembly is searching to fill a potential $1.1 billion budget deficit for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Highly notable cuts include the University of Georgia potentially cutting $5.8 million, eliminating 1,418 positions, reducing the incoming freshman body by about a third, eliminating it’s 4-H program, and reducing support for its Veterinarian Medical Teaching Hospital by 66 percent.

Because Georgia Northwestern Technical College is part of the State Technical College System, not the Univer-sity System of Georgia, the school was not required to present possibilities for budget cuts.

Mike Light, director of communications for the Technical College System of Georgia, said the system is currently waiting on revenue numbers from its February budget to come through in order to see if any budget cuts will be necessary.

Walker County Messenger