MACo Asks State to Boost Its Community College Contributions

On February 17, 2016, MACo Research Director, Robin Clark Eilenberg and MACo Education Subcommittee Vice Chair, Allegany County Commissioner William Valentine, testified in support of SB 339, Higher Education – Community Colleges – Funding, to the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee.

This legislation requires the State to increase its contribution to Maryland’s community colleges. Under this bill, by 2020 state aid for county community college would reach 29% of the per-pupil general fund appropriation to students at four-year public institutions of higher education in the state.

From the MACo testimony,

When state funding for community colleges lags, there is additional pressure on county budgets and on student tuition. When county budgets face distress from the economic climate or state actions, the local contributions cannot reliably offset these cutbacks.

For the past several years, this combined dynamic has led to increased tuition costs for Maryland community college students.

This legislation would increase the Cade formula, signaling a new commitment to community colleges on behalf of the State. This is timely, as Maryland community colleges are at a point where they would like to expand their programs and reduce costs to their students.

An identical cross-filed bill, HB 361, was heard on February 11 in the House.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.