Lon Morris College in Jacksonville is flat broke and as close to going out of business as a school can be.  Years of adding and expanding programs, out of control spending, and borrowing to the hilt to pay for everything have finally caught up with the oldest two-year college in Texas.


The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports Lon Morris has bled nearly four and a half million dollars in the past five years, and that doesn't include last year's losses.

The glimmer of good news is that higher education experts say the LMC board's response to this crisis is a solid and workable approach. The head of the nonprofit Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas says LMC is doing all the right things.

LMC has hired outside professionals to reorganize the school's debt with authority to do whatever is necessary to cut costs and keep it afloat.  The school also says it will also seek an alliance with another educational institution.

Observers watching from a distance say it's one of the few times they've seen a school in crisis take responsible steps like this to keep the doors open, and it just might work.

While the consultants struggle to balance the finances, the United Methodist Church of Texas is joining churches and civic groups in Jacksonville to help the school and its out-of-work employees.