New group raising community colleges' profile

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Community college leaders from Virginia and other states are banding together to fight for policies that would benefit schools they say are undervalued.

Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn DuBois and his counterparts in Louisiana, North Carolina and Indiana have formed Rebuilding the Middle Class. The coalition, which held its first meeting last week in the group's home base of Indianapolis, is raising money in hopes of building its profile among the public and with lawmakers.

They say community colleges are more important than ever because employers increasingly require post-secondary education while the cost of attending four-year-schools is skyrocketing. They also argue that federal policies and programs created to aid students haven't grown accordingly and need to better accommodate part-time students, as well as students with families.

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