SCC to Ask Voters to Continue Six-Cent Instructional Equipment Levy on September 12

08/23/2017

The September 12, 2017 school election ballot will include Public Measure B from Southeastern Community College requesting voters to continue a 6-cent instructional equipment levy first passed in 2008. If approved, this levy will continue to provide $224,000 annually for critically needed modern teaching and learning technology, and classroom tools.

Continuing the levy would help thousands of current and future SCC students throughout the Great River Region of Southeast Iowa get the best college education possible here at home.

State legislation strictly mandates how funds may be used. Only equipment and technology directly related to teaching and instruction can be purchased. Examples include: visual and performing arts teaching tools like musical instruments, kilns and easels; health science simulators and monitors; hybrid automotive technology diagnostic tools; robotic and advanced welding stations; lab equipment for biology chemistry and anatomy labs; and computers and interactive classroom devices.

Every year, SCC faces the daunting task of keeping technologically current with the changing face of higher education and workforce demands. With such limited funds, SCC must prioritize College needs in order to maximize current spending dollars. Many needs go unmet year after year. While the 6-cent levy generates over $224,000 each year, total technology and teaching resource requests exceed well over $1 million each year. This funding is critical to help SCC address its technology needs.

When voters first passed SCC’s levy in 2008, it was the only community college in the state to not have it in place. Area voters approved the 6-cent levy for a period of ten years, and now it is up for renewal. The other 14 Iowa community colleges continue to have a 6-cent levy in place.

This is not a new tax, and the levy’s impact on property tax is negligible. For example, the owner of the home with an assessed value of $100,000 would continue to pay just $3.34 per year.

Southeastern Community College enrolls more than 4000 students, including nearly 1000 concurrently-enrolled high school students each year. Tuition at SCC is $176 per credit hour, making average tuition just over $2,100 per full-time student per semester – in the mid-range for the state’s 15 community colleges.

SCC is the best value in education available to our Great River Region's residents. Over 80% of SCC students are eligible to receive some sort of financial assistance to help pay the cost of college.

Equipment purchased with the 6-cent levy helps SCC continue to provide affordable quality education. Less than 3% of SCC’s operating budget comes from local property taxes. And, SCC’s total cost to local taxpayers is just over $1 per $1,000 assessed valuation.

Regardless of their educational goals, each and every SCC student benefits from levy funding. In addition to offering transferable arts and science degrees, SCC offers career and technical degree programs in a variety of high-demand programs including accounting, agriculture, industrial technology, and welding.

In addition, SCC plays a vital role in the Great River Region by training the vast majority of healthcare workers including medical coders, medical assistants, respiratory care practitioners, paramedics, nurses, and certified nurse aides. These are some of the most expensive programs SCC offers and they benefit greatly from equipment and technology purchased with levy funds.

Workers and businesses also benefit from the tools and technology purchased. SCC’s Center for Business (CBIZ) provides community education, and workforce and professional training for businesses and industries throughout the area. Over the past five years CBIZ has served over 29,000 continuing education course enrollments, and 111 local companies have received targeted training and retraining programs, resulting in the creation or strengthening of thousands of jobs.

Persons interested in learning more about the 6-cent instructional levy for Southeastern Community College, or needing help determining voting locations and times, contact Becky Rump at (319) 208-5065 or brump@scciowa.edu.

For more news or to learn about Southeastern Community College, visit: http://www.scciowa.edu/rss/news/index.html