TRiO braces for federal budget cuts

Staff Writer

The nationwide TRIO Programs are on the list to lose funds provided by U.S. Congress for 2013. The KC TRIO program is proposed to lose approximately 5 percent of its funds, which will make its budget go from $230,506 to $218,751 for the Fiscal Year 2013-14. The $11,755 proposed budget cut causes TRIO to put some services provided in the past to be put on hold.

“We are trying to be proactive and prepare for the worst-case scenario by planning events that are still beneficial for our students’ success but meet within the proposed budget guidelines,” said TRIO Director Bindy Tice. “Any type of budget cuts to educational programs does not benefit the students or ultimately the community.”

Congress will rule the official budget cuts on March 1. Tice will be attending a meeting in Washington, D.C., at the end of March for further discussions.

KC TRIO staff members have not set a date to discuss a strategy to deal with the proposed budget.

TRIO is no longer offering unlimited free printing in the TRIO lab, free Scantrons for exams or free KC play tickets. Trips to four-year universities have been reduced and future correspondence, including newsletters, are sent to active TRIO student’s KC emails. Students will still have access to limited printing processed by TRIO staff members.

“If people are concerned, they need to contact their representative in Washington, D.C., and express their concern,” Tice said. “If voters don’t protest, then their concerns may be ignored by elected officials.”

TRIO normally visits six colleges, but this year they will only be able to visit the University of North Texas, University of Texas in Tyler, Texas State University and Sam Houston State University. The flags hanging in the TRIO lab represent all the schools they have visited in the past with their participants.

“We choose the schools we visit based on the interest and needs of our participants,” Tice said. “We are open to visiting other schools if there is an interest.”

TRIO is always accepting applications, but will not add new members until the Fall 2013.

Students can sign up in TRIO Office in the Student Support Building, Room 125.