Report says technical college students "shortchanged" on federal pandemic funds


The Wisconsin State Journal recently took a closer look at how the federal CARES Act distributed aid to technical colleges and their students during the pandemic.

The newspaper says the COVID-19 stimulus package gave money to colleges and universities based on their full-time equivalent student enrollment - a formula that doesn't help technical colleges, which serve primarily part-time students who juggle jobs and families, and even in normal times struggle with basic needs like food, housing, child care and transportation.

The report says although technical colleges enroll about 38% of the state’s students, they received only 23% of the CARES money that went to Wisconsin colleges and universities.

Madison College President Jack Daniels told the newspaper community colleges are often left out of the higher education conversation, even though they play an outsize role in teaching students technical skills, helping them move on to four-year schools and provide people who lost their jobs or are seeking to switch careers with new tools.