JoCo Sun – Hodge stands against more bureaucracy

Hodge stands against more bureaucracy
College could drop out of association due to dispute about vo-tech control
BY: Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, Editor

Legislation that appears to threaten community college control over vocational-technical education programs left several Johnson County Community College trustees seeking answers and Ben Hodge seeking retribution at last week’s board meeting.

Hodge said he does not like the Kansas Board of Regents overseeing a new group formed to handle vo-tech education issues. Senate bill 2556 establishes a 12-member group, under the State Board of Regents, with authority reserved formerly for community colleges.

“I’m of a mind that this will take money from community colleges,” Hodge, a Kansas House member, told the board.

Hodge said more bureaucracy could cost taxpayers more money and he criticized the regents.

“I do not consider the Board of Regents a friend to taxpayers,” Hodge said.

He began flogging regents on a separate issue, for backing university maintenance funds, but trustees Chairman Lynn Mitchelson suggested focusing the discussion on the vo-tech issue.

Hodge slammed the Kansas Association of Community Colleges Trustees for failing in lobbying efforts to prevent SB 25