Sunday, December 10, 2017
Education

PHCC boosts economy of its two counties by $240M a year

Pasco-Hernando Community College boosts the economies of its two counties by $240 million a year, according to a recently released economic impact study.

That's about equivalent to 2.6 percent of the service area economy.

The study, conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International, based its finding on the college's employment and spending, as well as the accumulated impact of graduates.

PHCC employs 389 full-time and 336 part-time faculty and staff, spending close to $32 million on salaries, supplies and services. It has awarded more than 32,000 degrees and certificates since opening in 1972.

The report calculated that PHCC students get a 16.7 percent rate of return on their investment of time and money, while taxpayers receive a 7.7 percent return.

"As we move forward with the approval process to offer baccalaureate degrees and open the Porter Campus in Wesley Chapel, the opportunities PHCC provides to current and future students will grow as well as our impact on the local economy," PHCC president Kathy Johnson said in a release.

The report came as part of a larger statewide look at the value of Florida's 28 colleges.

"We thought we had a good story to tell," said Joe Pickens, chairman of the colleges' presidents council. "We don't whine much, and we also don't self-promote much. … We are going to start doing a better job of telling our story."

Pickens, a former state lawmaker, noted that information about return on investment and job preparation resonates in the Legislature and the Governor's Office, where competition for dollars can be tough with so many varied interests seeking to stake their claim.

"People had a sense that we had a positive economic impact," he said, "but we needed to show them."

The study "shows that if you have a $26 billion return on investment with the system, policy makers should know additional funds in the system will lead to more people with certificates and degrees, and put more people in the workforce," said Randy Hanna, chancellor of the state Division of Florida Colleges. "That's our mission."

For years, college presidents have pushed to get more funding to serve their growing numbers of students. Some have contended that lawmakers have shortchanged colleges by basing allocations on enrollment from the most recent fiscal year rather than the one they're entering, making it difficult to keep up with the costs of rising demand.

They've also tried to get more money for the high school students they serve through dual enrollment courses.

So far, the colleges appear on track to do better than they have in the past few years. The House appropriations committee has proposed for a 3.3 percent increase in funding for the system.

Gov. Rick Scott has recommended a 7 percent increase. Hanna said he hoped that as House and Senate leaders work through the process, in the end "we'll be close" to the governor's proposal.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at [email protected], (813) 909-4614 or on Twitter @jeffsolochek. For more education news visit the Gradebook at tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook.

Comments
‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

RIVERVIEW — As a foster parent with two sons of her own, Kayla Storey has learned all the tricks to get her kids out of bed and off to school every morning. But this year, Storey says she’s the one waking up every school day with a knot in her stomac...
Published: 12/08/17

University of Central Florida Greeks won’t hold social events, serve alcohol for 6 weeks this spring

ORLANDO — University of Central Florida fraternities and sororities won’t host social activities or any events with drinking for at least the first six weeks of the spring semester, up from the two-week ban on alcohol that has been in place in the pa...
Published: 12/08/17
Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Disturbed by stories about the rape of teens by supervisory staff, a pandemic of sometimes savage force, brutal beatdowns ordered by youth care workers and policies that permit the hiring of violent offenders, Miami-Dade’s state attorney wants to kno...
Published: 12/07/17
Henderson: Some basic facts about Hillsborough’s teacher pay imbroglio

Henderson: Some basic facts about Hillsborough’s teacher pay imbroglio

Hillsborough County’s public school teachers are horn-honking, voice-raising, sign-waving, foot-stomping mad, and I can’t blame them. They are paying for a problem they didn’t create. About one-third of the workforce was expecting to receive a $4,000...
Published: 12/07/17
In Watershed Ambassadors Program, Pasco students learn about natural Florida

In Watershed Ambassadors Program, Pasco students learn about natural Florida

SPRING HILL — On a small wooden dock at the Cross Bar Ranch, Cynthia Brinker gingerly pokes through the trappings in her fishing net, plucking out a tiny creature to examine close up. "What the heck is this?" the Weightman Middle School studen...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Crognale named 2018 Hernando Principal of the Year

Crognale named 2018 Hernando Principal of the Year

BROOKSVILLE — For just a year and a half, Steve Crognale has been the principal at the Endeavor and Discovery Academies. But now, he’s been named the Hernando School District Principal of the Year for 2018. Endeavor serves students, most of them hig...
Published: 12/06/17
Hillsborough teachers keep the heat on after $92 bonus offer

Hillsborough teachers keep the heat on after $92 bonus offer

TAMPA — The second Hillsborough County School Board meeting in less than a month took place Tuesday against a backdrop of honking car horns, cheering teachers and audience members moving through the room in shifts.Dressed in blue union-issued T-shirt...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17
‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

RIVERVIEW — As a foster parent with two sons of her own, Kayla Storey is skilled at calming first-day-of-school jitters. But this school year, Storey says she’s the one waking up every weekday with a knot in her stomach.It’s been there ever since th...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17
Hillsborough school district names Teacher of the Year finalists

Hillsborough school district names Teacher of the Year finalists

Finalists were announced Tuesday for Hillsborough County Teacher of the year and other honors.Winners will be announced at a banquet on Jan. 16.The finalists for teacher of the year are: Jennifer Jackson, seventh grade science, Stewart Middle; Alexa ...
Published: 12/05/17
High school start times: Could they be a talking point in the 2018 Pinellas election?

High school start times: Could they be a talking point in the 2018 Pinellas election?

It’s been years since the Pinellas County School Board addressed high school start times.But if the issue isn’t resolved in the next few months, it could fall to voters as they decide on who should fill four out of seven School Board seats up grabs i...
Published: 12/05/17