Budget Subcommittee Considers Hold Harmless Funding for Community Colleges

While the Governor’s proposed budget reduced Maryland Community College funding by $13 million this year as compared with the amount required by statutory funding formulas, the House Appropriations Education and Economic Development Subcommittee has considered providing hold harmless funding to the Colleges based on their funding from last year.

The recommendation, which came from the Department of Legislative Services, would provide $11.7 million less that required by statutory formulas, but since funding in fiscal 2015 was also below the formula amount, this would hold all community colleges harmless and actually increase funding for two colleges.

As described in the Decision Document, the Subcommittee considered a recommendation to:

Rerun the Cade funding formula in fiscal 2016 and apply hold harmless funding. This reduces the total funding from the allowances by $11.7 million. This holds all local community colleges harmless to fiscal 2015 State support, except for Howard Community College and Prince George’s Community Colleges who have increases in State support.

MACo has advocated for the State’s community college funding, recently raising the issue while testifying on a bill to expand unions in community colleges. The state, the county governments, and the students (through tuition) are meant to be partners in shouldering the costs of community colleges, however in recent years, the State has provided less that 30% of community college revenues.

The subcommittees will report their decisions on recommendations to the full Appropriations Committee and the full Appropriations Committee will hold its decision meeting today at 1 pm.  The Committee may also consider a faster rate of return to full Cade formula funding.