This post summarizes the status of the community colleges issues that MACo tracked during the 2015 General Assembly Session.
Collective Bargaining: HB 966 Education – Community Colleges – Collective Bargaining would establishes a uniform statewide collective bargaining process for community college employees.
MACo opposed this bill, stating that administrative costs and potential salary increases resulting from expanded collective bargaining would put additional pressure on county budgets or student tuition. Also, despite counties’ role in supporting community colleges, this legislation would not provide any opportunity for county governments to participate in collective bargaining negotiations. The combination of these effects – State-imposed system and costs, no county participation in bargaining, and no additional State funding – results in a potentially substantial unfunded mandate on county governments.
FINAL STATUS: The House Appropriations Committee held a hearing but did not vote the bill.
Community College Funding: Maryland county governments and the State of Maryland partner to provide funding to Maryland’s community colleges. In recent years, however, the state has not fulfilled its statutorily required funding, putting additional pressure on county budgets and student tuition. This year, the State increased its funding for community colleges, but still did not reach its statutory minimum “Cade” funding formula amount. Below is a chart that shows the amount of state funding for each Maryland community college in FY 2015 and what is budgeted for FY 2016.
For information on other topics that MACo tracked in education, see 2015 End of Session Wrap Up: Education Funding.