Budget Plan Limits Growth in Community College Funding

The Governor’s proposed budget includes an increase in funding for community colleges, although it is about $5M less than the colleges would have received if the plan followed the statutorily prescribed funding formula.  A change in State funding for community colleges could put pressure on county governments, who share responsibility for funding these institutions.  In the past, some counties have contributed more than 40% of their community college budgets.

In the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2014 (SB 172), the standard formula is amended to limit the growth of community college funding in FY15. The proposal provides $223 million to community colleges in FY15. While this is a 5% increase ($10.7M more in direct aid) compared to FY14 funding, it is actually less of an increase than would have been dictated by the John A. Cade Funding Formula.

The Cade Formula is a set appropriation based on the number of enrolled students.  If the Cade was applied this year, community colleges would have received a 7.2% increase in funding from 2014, or $15.3M more than in FY14.  Here is a comparison chart of the Governors Allowance 2015 provided by the Maryland Association of Community Colleges.

This year’s proposed budget provides the following funding allocations:

  • Allegany Community College $4,872,898;
  • Anne Arundel Community College $28,998,941;
  • Community College of Baltimore County $38,990,003;
  • Carroll Community College $7,488,547;
  • Cecil Community College $5,217,687;
  • College of Southern Maryland $13,118,626;
  • Chesapeake College $6,134,108;
  • Frederick Community College $9,010,822;
  • Garrett College $2,595,501;
  • Hagerstown Community College $7,788,149;
  • Harford Community College $10,913,980;
  • Howard Community College $15,300,154;
  • Montgomery College $40,402,184;
  • Prince George’s Community College $25,722,191; and
  • Wor–Wic Community College $7,116,177.

For more information on the budget and its effect on counties, see our post Governor’s Budget: No New County Reductions, Limited New Funding