Oregon prison chief tells TVCC, other colleges the state is dropping teaching contracts

ONTARIO – Treasure Valley Community College will soon be out of the business of educating inmates in basic schooling, ending 20 years of serving Oregon’s largest prison.

The Oregon Corrections Department on Friday turned down an offer from TVCC and five other community colleges to reshape in-prison schooling to cut costs.

For TVCC, that means shutting down a program in January at Snake River Correctional Institution that paid the college about $2 million a year and involved 19 college instructors. The college also taught classes at Warner Creek Correctional Facility in Lakeview.

The Ontario college and others have been scrambling for a month to forestall the change.

Colette Peters, Corrections Department director, said in a letter to the colleges that their latest plan to keep the business didn’t meet the state’s needs.