Closing Odessa College Listed as State Budget Possibility

AUSTIN - Four Texas colleges, including Odessa College, could close as part of a plan to save money.

The Associated Press is reporting that Odessa College, Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, Frank Phillips College in Borger and Ranger College would close as part of a plan to slash $145 million in state funding for Texas community and junior colleges. Those cuts are in a draft spending plan released Tuesday by House lawmakers.

Odessa College Board President Walter Smith told NewsWest9 Tuesday evening that the news came as a shock. He said the board would be working to get more details on the plan on Wednesday.

Smith also said Odessa College has been making lots of progress lately with growing enrollment and the passage of a voter-supported bond issue last year.

Smith said he knew that budget cuts would be coming, but they had no idea state lawmakers were considering closing entire colleges. He also thought that the community would rally behind OC to keep it open if the budget proposal advanced any further.

We will have the latest on this developing story on NewsWest9 at 10. We will also be working to get more details on this plan on Wednesday.